THE Ludlow group that wants more people to give up private car ownership has pledged to ‘green’ its fleet of hire cars.

It has taken delivery of a petrol hybrid and says that within a year its entire fleet of petrol and diesel cars will be replaced by similar vehicles before going all electric.

The local car share scheme is modernising and introducing a new hybrid car to its Shropshire fleet including in Ludlow.

The Ludlow’s branch of Shropshire Car Club has taken delivery of a Toyota Yaris to replace its five-year-old Ford Fiesta.

The Yaris is a similar size to the Fiesta and uses a hybrid system combining a petrol engine with an electric drive providing a high level of fuel efficiency and low emissions.

The car automatically adapts to different driving conditions and intelligently controls the power coming from both sources and tells the car how to combine them for the greatest efficiency and performance.

This is not a plug-in electric car: the batteries are recharged automatically from the petrol engine.

The club intends to replace all its current cars with modern hybrid models in the coming year and to go all electric once there are adequate local recharging points.

Although electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, they are still relatively expensive and have a relatively short range between needing to be recharged.

There is also still a shortage of electric charging points in some parts of the country especially in rural areas.

Club director Denise Thompson says that it wants to demonstrate its green credentials.

“The car club needs to show the way to greener motoring and carbon reduction,” she said.

“Sharing the use of a car through the club helps to conserve energy, reduce traffic congestion, relieve parking problems, lower travelling budgets and reduce climate change.”

The club will be holding an event to launch the new car and explain its special characteristics in the near future.

Current car club members and all those interested in joining the club will be invited: date and venue to be announced shortly.

This will be of particular interest to those wishing to share use of an automatic car. The club is aimed at people who need access to a car but not all of the time.

It is particularly attractive for people who can predict when they will need a vehicle.

Members of the club can hire a vehicle for as long or as short a time as they like.

Payment is on a pay-as-you-go-basis.

It means that cars did not have to sit on a drive unused for long periods of time and does away with expensive fixed costs like insurance, road tax, maintenance and depreciation.

Membership is open to all drivers that hold a legitimate licence and young drivers are not excluded.