Carmarthenshire: Carmarthenshire County Council municipal car sharing

Carmarthenshire is one of 22 Welsh administrative divisions (Counties). It is the third largest Welsh County by area, and the fourth largest by population (183,800 inhabitants).

The context

Carmarthenshire County Council (CCC) is the Local Authority for Carmarthenshire County, and employs over 9.000 people. Staff are scattered across the County, at a radius of up to 30 miles (48 Km) from Carmarthen town (approx. 15,000 inhabitants).



Carmarthenshire County Council municipal Car sharing

County Council

In October 2010 CCC introduced a Car Pool Pilot, aiming at rationalising car use and reducing expenses. The initial pool consisted of 6 diesel cars and was based at Parc Myrddin Campus, Carmarthen.

In April 2011 CCC introduced two Mitsubishi iMiEVs battery electric vehicles to their car pool, bringing the total number of vehicles to 8. This made CCC the first local authority in Wales to introduce electric vehicles into its fleet. These vehicles are provided for employees to utilise in their day-to-day duties as an efficiency saving in both economical & environmental matters. In late 2012 CCC investigated the possibility of expanding the Parc Myrddin's Campus current fleet of 2 Mitsubishi iMiEVs to 6 electric vehicles in the duration of the eBRIDGE project. 4 of these will remain at the Parc Myrddin and will be accessible to employees based at this site, whilst the other 2 will be based at other locations.

Of the 140 Parc Myrddin staff, 123 employees have undertaken driver assessments and familiarised themselves with the vehicles. Many currently prefer the electric vehicles as the primary mode of transport for in-county journeys instead of the diesel vehicles. Others have been slower to adopt electric vehicles use. This appears to be due to issues such as range anxiety and lack of confidence; and some have been observed to adopt inefficient driving styles. These possible barriers to electric vehicles use will be explored and addressed in the Carmarthenshire pilot.

Expanding the Electric vehicles fleet

Additional funding has been secured for an additional 4 Peugeot iOns to add to the 2 Mitsubishi iMiEVs owned by CCC since April 2011, bringing the total number of electric vehicles to 6.
CCC employees book these vehicles in person at the CCC premises. The vehicles are primarily charged at CCC's Parc Myrddin facility (overnight) and on demand in other locations using standard mains power. There are plans to install fast charge points at two strategic points in Carmarthen in the foreseeable future.

The tasks

The case study runs from April 2013 until March 2016. The specific tasks for the project are divided into:

  • Promotion
  • Monitoring
  • Assessment
  • Knowledge sharing activities

Promotion of electric vehicles use for work and private travel amongst CCC employees

Promoting the use of electric vehicles among CCC employees will be one of the key tasks for this demonstration. This will allow us to look at the pure effects of intervention on behaviour change.
We will use social psychological techniques and marketing to promote the electric vehicles scheme to CCC employees. These materials will highlight the benefits of electric vehicles use for work travel, but also generally encourage electric vehicles adoption for private travel. This aims to achieve behavioural 'spill over' from the professional into the private lifestyle.

Usage monitoring of the e-fleet based at Parc Myrddin campus

Progress and efficiency of the promotion measures described in previous paragraph will be monitored via usage data of the electric vehicles.
These measures will be complemented with surveys mentioned which will also include information about drivers' demographics, trip profile (private and professional), trip frequency and perceived reasons for and against the use of electric vehicles.

Assessment of barriers and potential for expansion of electric vehicles in conventional fleets

Using electric vehicles has proven highly beneficial for CCC compared to Diesel cars. Expanding the electric vehicles fleet should provide further benefits to the Council as a whole. However, this expansion – and the aspired increase in use, which is needed for the benefits to materialise – needs to overcome barriers in different levels. We will assess these barriers as well as the relevant expansion potential of electric vehicles in comparable fleets, based on the CCC experience.
Interviews with fleet managers and users, usage monitoring and promotional on-campus activities, will result in a factsheet on the barriers and potentials for the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles in conventional fleets.

User training

A user training will be provided to potential drivers during the demonstration period, to help them familiarise with the electric vehicle fleet.

Knowledge transfer amongst private and public sector organisations

The pioneering activity on establishing an electric vehicles car pool is expected to create wider interest and resonate with other private and public Welsh employers who already have, or aspire to establish their own electric vehicles pool. Following the success of this initial trial in addition to possible future funding and collaboration with neighbouring local authorities, there are opportunities to increase the pool of electric vehicles.

Experiences and best practice with other Welsh employers (both private and public sector) will be shared through a relevant workshop and online resources. This will help meet increasing demand for information and advice on electric vehicles fleet development and management from comparable employers e.g. other Welsh County Councils, and help achieve Welsh Government sustainable transport policy goals for Welsh employers.

A set of materials such as leaflets, business mobility guidelines, brochures for companies will be produced and disseminated among users and interested companies during the lifetime of the project. This material aims at fostering a broader dissemination of the benefits of e-car sharing offers for business and private trips, consequently supporting behaviour change towards electric mobility and more environmental-friendly means of transport in general. 

The goals

Our specific goals for the lifetime of the project are to:

• Increase average use of electric vehicles
• Increase average mileage per electric vehicles/trip
• Increase the actual 'on the road' number of electric vehicles
• Increase awareness and disseminate the lessons learnt