Sadly, it has been announced that as of Friday 14th July, Exeter based Co Cars ceased trading.
The company supplied the electric cars which you will have seen outside the Parkhouse Centre, which also had electrical charging points. The scheme was supported by Bude & Stratton Town Council. Co Cars launched its electric car club in Bude on Friday, November 12.
The idea was, in theory, a good one, to hire (through a membership scheme) an electric car as and when needed, at least partly in the hope of encouraging households to avoid running second vehicles.
The two electric Renault Zoe cars with dual charging points were located at the Parkhouse Centre town council car park and made available to use by residents (and visitors) who signed up to the scheme.
Cornwall Council contributed to Bude’s Electric Co Car Club the sum of £58,000 from the Community Infrastructure Levy.
In a press release, the company said:
Despite everyone working extremely hard to provide shared mobility services for Exeter and
the wider South West, it has been increasingly difficult to generate sufficient income to
cover our costs.
Initially, we were severely affected by the suspension of our services for long periods of
time during Covid.
Post-Covid, changes in travel habits, exacerbated by the cost-of-living
crisis and drop in demand for business travel, have significantly impacted utilisation and
revenue. These factors have been aggravated by high fuel prices and energy costs,
contributing to greatly increased internal costs.
Furthermore, vandalism of the bikes (offered in Exeter) and
supply chain issues (especially for e-bikes) have made it impossible for us to keep enough of
the fleet on the road to make the business viable.
Cllr Peter La Broy, who tried the scheme out, said: “It’s incredibly sad to hear that Co Cars are in administration. I felt that the shared car scheme here in Bude was a real benefit to our community and the cars worked incredibly well – I took one of them to York and back over two days and it was a great experience. I hope that the administrators find a way to keep the business operating, but in the meantime the scheme seems to be on hold.”