Why do we need an electric vehicle car share scheme on the islands?

The Isles of Scilly is a carbon intensive community and our lack of public transport options means we have a high number of vehicles for the population (almost one car per two people). By offering an alternative to car ownership we are hoping to reduce the number of vehicles on the islands and offer a low-carbon option for when a vehicle is needed. 


Are electric vehicles suitable for the Isles of Scilly?

With only 15km of road, the range for most electric vehicles will not be challenged and one charge should last for many trips.

A bus would be a good idea, why isn’t this being included?

A bus was not in the original scope of the project, but we are seeking to deliver an electric community bus if possible.  We would welcome views from the community on how the model for a bus service could operate. A bus would be in addition to the core components of the project that must be delivered as originally agreed with funders.


Will the scheme be providing electric bikes?

No, the project is not going to be providing electric bikes. However, the project is investigating the possibility of a network of electric cargo bikes for hire alongside the carshare scheme if possible. Cargo bikes have a large storage space typically at the front for transporting larger items.

How many vehicles will there be in the car-share scheme?

There will be 10 vehicles in the car-share scheme, a mix of cars, 7-seater vehicles and commercial vans to meet the various needs of residents and businesses.

What kind of vehicles will be used for GO-EV?  All the vehicles run by GO-EV under this project will need to have the ability to discharge their energy back into the electricity network known as vehicle-to-grid or V2G.

Where will the cars be kept?

Each car share vehicle will have a dedicated parking space with a vehicle to grid (V2G) charger and most will be housed under solar canopies allowing the project to test the optimisation of direct charging from solar photovoltaic panels.  Please see the Isles of Scilly Council’s planning applications for all locations.

Why do the GO-EV vehicles need to be vehicle-to-grid (V2G) vehicles?

Innovation is an intrinsic part of the project and helped it attract the funding. It is important that the introduction of electric vehicles to the islands enhances and supports the current demands on energy provision as well as finding ways to improve supply in the future. V2G technology allows for renewable energy stored in the vehicles to be fed back into the grid at peak times, such as the evening when there may be more demand for electricity than can be met by local renewable energy.

How many charging points will be installed as part of this project? Will they all be Vehicle to Grid (V2G) chargers? 

There will be at least 27 charging points installed under this project.

10 of these chargers will be bi-directional, meaning V2G vehicles will be able to charge from them and discharge their battery power back into the grid if required.

17 will be general use chargers available for use by residents and businesses to charge their own electric vehicles.   This will encourage the uptake of electric vehicles and future proof the islands as petrol and diesel vehicles are phased out in the coming years.

Where can I find the planning applications? 

All planning applications are on the Isles of Scilly Council’s planning application page.



How have you chosen the sites for chargers?

Many considerations were taken into account when choosing the best locations for the GO-EV chargers such as:- 

  • Community Engagement 

  • Space for a solar canopy 

  • Exposure to the elements 

  • Suitable Western Power Distribution connection points 

  • Distance from potential users 

  • Planning constraints 

  • Access 

  • Current traffic volume/congestion in the area.

How will the vehicles be maintained and serviced?

The project includes budget for EV maintenance training, and we hope to use this to foster local skills.  With no oil or filters, clutch nor complicated gearbox, there are far fewer parts to maintain on an electric vehicle compared to a conventional combustion engine. This means far less servicing and maintenance.

Aren’t the batteries expensive to replace?

Yes, in the current market batteries are expensive to replace.  However, it is usual for them to be under warranty for 100,000 miles or 8 years – whichever comes first.  As the consumer demand for electric vehicles increases it is inevitable that their associated costs will decrease.  There is also an exciting emerging market in ‘second-use’ of electric vehicle batteries.  EV batteries can have another 5 – 8 years of useful life in a secondary application such as energy storage, once they are no longer efficient enough for their primary use.

Will the car-share scheme be available for tourists to use?

No.  The current plan is that the car share vehicles will only be available to residents and local businesses on the islands and possibly also for organisations/businesses who regularly visit the islands.

What will the tariff be for the car-share scheme and for charging private electric vehicles?

The vehicle hire charge will be on a ‘pay-per-use’ basis. The prices are yet to be decided for both vehicle hire and for charging private vehicles.  When we have appointed an electricity supplier for the general use charge points this will guide our pricing strategy.  Current prices on the mainland are around £5/hour for car-share and between 12p and 35p per kWh with the lower fees tending to attract a monthly standing charge.

What is the business case for the project? 

The project is being funded as a trial to see how community car share schemes can operate and influence behaviour change.  A business case was not required for the award of the funding, but rather is to be developed over the course of the project, as one of the funding outcomes. The project runs until June 2021. The business case will investigate all elements including insurance, maintenance, customer service, booking systems, revenue streams from vehicle-to-grid charging and different uses of the car-share scheme.


Why is the cost of this project so high?  

There has been a great deal of research done to ascertain the cost of the necessary equipment for this project and how best it can be obtained in the most affordable way and taking into account necessary procurement rules.  As with all projects on the Isles of Scilly the location factor has also been considered.

Much of the funding for the project is for the innovation that the project will develop as well as the physical elements that will be seen by everyone on Scilly.  While the project will develop a long-term alternative transport solution on the Isles of Scilly, its aim is to test and develop new technologies. The learning from which will not only support the Isles of Scilly’s transition to becoming a sustainable community but also support the UK and beyond.

What benefits will this project bring to the Isles of Scilly?

The project will support a reduction in traffic, noise and vehicle emissions and offer residents a lower carbon, more cost-effective alternative to car ownership. It will also add to the Isles of Scilly’s green credentials and enhance our attractiveness to the environmentally aware visitor.

What are the wider benefits of this project?

The pioneering nature of this project means it will act as a pathfinder within the UK and Europe, bringing together best practice and learning from Hitachi’s projects and industry insight from around the world.  The commercial model that will be developed and demonstrated will provide a key step in the UK’s ambition to become a leading innovator in electric vehicle solutions. As with the current projects running under the Smart Islands Programme, GO-EV will help highlight the Isles of Scilly as a destination to the global market.

How is the programme being funded and by whom? 

This project is fully funded by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal Fund - £606,610 and the European Regional Development Fund - £2,426,440. The EU funding will be underwritten by the UK Treasury in any Brexit scenario. The Council of the Isles of Scilly is the recipient of this funding and GO-EV has been developed under the wider Smart Islands programme.

Who is responsible for delivering the project? 

The project is managed by the Council of the Isles of Scilly and is being delivered by two project partners: The Isles of Scilly Community Venture and Hitachi Europe Ltd.

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Unit 9 & 10, Porthmellon Enterprise Centre, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, TR21 0JY

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Isles of Scilly Community Venture C.I.C. is a Community Interest Company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 10836250. Registered office: Tresco Estate Island Office, Tresco, Isles of Scilly, TR24 0QQ