A new electric vehicle car club has opened in Milton Keynes with the intention of offering business users short-term rentals of zero-CO2 vehicles.

Known as E-Car, the club currently has a small fleet of Nissan Leafs, which can be booked by local firms and residents.

The scheme operates in a similar way to Alphabet’s Alpha City pool car service, which was launched earlier this year.

Members are given a smart card with a pin code after reserving the car online and the loan is activated by tapping the card against a reader inside the windscreen.

Three methods of payment are available: straightforward pay-as-you-go; a business account, which offers block-bookings and a 20% discount for regular users; and what the company calls E-Car hosting, which is essentially a fleet-managed arrangement.

Firms can hire cars from £5.50 per hour and the firm intends to expand with a site and more cars in Oxford later in the year.

Chairman Andrew Wordsworth said the club was suited to businesses that “want to experiment with driving an electric car before they make the decision to own one”.

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