How’s the ŌCHT/Zilch Car Sharing scheme benefiting tenants? Peter wouldn’t be without it.
The Tommy Taylor Courts resident struggles to suppress a smile when asked if he’s enjoying the benefits of the ŌCHT/Zilch Car Sharing scheme.
“Oh, hugely,” he says as he pulls his Zilch membership card from his trouser pocket.
“It’s an important part of my transport. So inexpensive, so handy, so easy to use – more people should make use of it.”
Peter was one of the first regular users of the two Nissan Leafs that are now based at Karoro Lane.
They’re there for a two year pilot to see how low-carbon, low cost transport might benefit the community.
The cars are supplied by ŌCHT and the ride share service is managed by Zilch Car Sharing.
ŌCHT tenants from anywhere in the city can book and use the cars at significantly reduced rates.
Peter says cost and convenience were the over-riding positives that made him an early user.
His petrol-fueled car was stolen a few years ago. He did the sums and decided it was cheaper to use ride share services.
He became a Zilch Ride Share member before the ŌCHT/Zilch Car Sharing pilot started.
“There are so many hidden costs in car ownership that people forget about.
“Petrol is one thing, but there’s also servicing and insurance, warrants of fitness and registration costs.
“When you think about what you use a car for, it’s worth thinking about the alternatives.”
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Peter uses the car sharing scheme three or four times a month, mixing it up with other public transport options.
He uses the car for long trips that might otherwise require a few bus changes to get to where he’s going.
It’s a convenient way to visit people on the other side of the city, and to get the shopping.
“At $8 an hour, it’s cheaper than any car and it’s two-thirds the cost of getting an electric scooter,” he says.
“And you can’t carry your groceries when you’re on an electric scooter!”
Peter laughs when asked whether some people might be put off trying-out the new technology.
“Perhaps, but there’s nothing to be afraid of.
“It’s an easy process. You register online with Zilch and they send a card within days.
“You can book the car online or using an app and you just swipe the card on the car scanner to get started.
“It’s as easy as that.”
The e-cars are as easy to use as their petrol-powered cousins. Zilch has instructions for use on its website.
“On my first time, I spent about 5 minutes getting used to pushing the footbrake to activate the engine.
“And after that, it was easy. Now I wouldn’t be without it.”