- £600k share offer will support expansion of zero carbon shared mobility network
- More shared electric cars & e-bikes will reduce CO2 by est. 230 tonnes per annum
- Minimum investment of £250 with 5% annual target interest rate
- Offer open until 31 July 2020, applications via www.ethex.org.uk/CoCars
Co Cars, the eco-friendly vehicle sharing co-operative, is urging potential investors not to miss out on the opportunity to back its £600k community share offer.
The offer closes in two weeks (31 July 2020) and, at the time of writing, has already attracted just under £325k of investment. All funds will be used to support the expansion of Co Cars’ fleet of shared electric cars and e-bikes; helping to tackle the climate crisis whilst also providing sustainable, affordable transport options to hundreds more people.
Like many businesses, the events of the last few months have had a huge impact on Co Cars but, conversely, much of it has been positive. In response to lockdown, the co-operative initially suspended its network of cars and e-bikes. However, it quickly found its services were still in demand and responded by keeping a small fleet of cars active for members and by providing free access to its e-bikes for the NHS and the police. In addition, Co Delivery, its e-cargo bike service, worked with independent businesses to deliver groceries around Exeter.
At the same time, enquiries from private companies and developers interested in integrating shared mobility into new developments continued to grow, resulting in Co Cars emerging from lockdown with a healthier business pipeline than pre-Covid-19. The company also won funding to expand Co Delivery by 4 more e-cargo bikes, which will enable it to offer its sustainable delivery service to a greater number of businesses in Exeter.
The collective experience of pollution and congestion free streets has resulted in a desire to maintain positive behaviour change; with central government promoting active travel and Devon County Council increasing cycling infrastructure as well as working with Co Cars on plans to increase its e-bike network.
Indeed, as its shared mobility network restarted, Co Cars has seen e-bike utilisation quickly exceeding pre-Covid-19 levels and Co Cars membership applications reach normal seasonal levels within the first month of operation.
Responding to the events of the last few months, Mark Hodgson, Founder and Managing Director of Co Cars, commented: “At the start of this year, no one could have foreseen quite how profoundly and quickly our society would change and my thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted.
“However, these changes have also forcibly demonstrated that another way of doing things is possible and, more importantly, absolutely achievable. I am truly touched that this has been reflected in investor confidence in Co Cars during this most challenging of times.
“The investment we’ve already secured, along with our new business pipeline, will allow us to do so much. By reaching our £600k target, we could add a further 25 electric cars and 50 e-bikes to our fleet, helping remove 150 cars from the streets and 230 tonnes of CO2 from the air every year. This is a shining example of exactly how we can ‘build back better’ by providing sustainable, affordable transport for people, communities and businesses.”
The social enterprise’s community share offer is available through Ethex, the leading social and environmental impact investment platform.
Lisa Ashford, CEO of Ethex, added: “Co Cars is a great example of a pioneering organisation helping to build back better – providing a great low carbon transport alternative for people in the South West. It’s organisations like Co Cars, rooted in the heart of communities, that are innovating to address some of the greatest challenges facing society but in a way that creates value for all – delivering environmental, social and financial impact.
“If we truly want to build back better then it’s implicit on all of us to look at what our money is and isn’t supporting and actively make a choice to support the kind of organisations like Co Cars which will help to protect the planet and people.”
Minimum investment level is £250 with a forecasted annual return of 5% for shareholders. The offer is open until 31 July 2020 and applications can be made via www.ethex.org.uk/CoCars. Investors are reminded that capital is at risk when invested and returns are not guaranteed.