WALES’ first electric car club in north Pembrokeshire is looking to expand its fleet, following its successful launch last April.

Thanks to a £25,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Village SOS programme, Cilgwyn Community Group was able to buy a brand new electric vehicle to form the basis of a car sharing club in the area.

The Nissan Leaf vehicle is powered by a solar panel on its roof, and can cover up to 90 'Welsh' miles before needing a charge. In Newport the car is charged using surplus solar power generated by panels on the roof of Newport Memorial Hall.

Vicky Moller, administrator of the Newport club, said: “The model works, and we have money to help people start one.

“It suits people without a first car, families who can’t afford a second car, people who don’t use their car every day, and those who want to move on from the fossil fuel era.

“We now have more than 50 bookings a month with the first club, and often people are unable to book, so we are testing the next car to buy.”

Since the launch, a similar project has been set up by the St Davids Eco City Group.

Its Nissan leaf vehicle has its very own charge point in the TYF car park on the High Street.

Membership costs £25 a year and anyone can join, providing they are over 25 years old, and have had a licence for more than two years.

Vicky added: “We are all finding it fun to be pioneers. We have helped get the charge points ready for public use in Haverfordwest and Carmarthen, and persuaded universities in Carmarthen and Lampeter to install them.

“One of our members drove to Southend, it took him nearly 10 hours and it didn’t cost him a penny.

“We now want to take this further. Environment Wales has funded a study into how to succeed in offering this model to other communities.”