Wales

Gwynedd community electric car scheme to connect locals

Electric car Image copyright Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig
Image caption The cars are called Carwen and Carwyn

Two rural communities in Gwynedd are unveiling new electric cars to be shared by people for job interviews, hospital appointments or shopping.

One will be based in Bethesda and the other in Abergynolwyn for when buses, trains or taxis are not available or cost too much.

It is the latest in a string of schemes in Wales run and funded by a mixture of voluntary, private and public bodies.

The vehicles - named Carwen and Carwyn - will be unveiled on Saturday.

Dr Neil Lewis, an expert from Carmarthenshire Energy, said: "Shared ownership of electric vehicles can make a huge difference to Welsh communities by lowering the cost of transport and improving the convenience whilst combating the climate emergency."

His social enterprise has been championing the use of electric cars around Wales and wants to make it compulsory for all public bodies to use them.

The latest project has received Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council funding.

Other shared cars already on the road include a red Nissan Leaf called Neli in Corwen, Denbighshire.

Image copyright Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig
Image caption Locals in Bethesda will be able to use their community car from the weekend

But the idea has not always proved to be a success in practice.

The first community electric car sharing scheme in Wales was in Cilgwyn near Newport, Pembrokeshire, in 2013. It was closely followed by a scheme in the city of St Davids.

But Andy Dixon, who helped run the St Davids scheme, said it was wound up after a year.

"In some ways, we were too rural for it to work properly. We had people from outlying areas driving into St Davids in their own cars to pick up the electric one."

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