TripTo – an innovative electric car club

TripTo - an innovative electric car club

Tripto came about when (in 2005) Andrew Capel had the idea of getting rid of their family car to further reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.

But living in a rural area would have made their lives unnecessarily harder not to have access to a car at all or to be dependent on others to borrow one. 


Many people told Andrew that they thought it would only work in large towns and cities.  What Andrew realised from talking to the members of three existing (rural) car clubs was that it was the members who made it work. By 2007, Andrew had found 3 others who wanted a car club for themselves and were willing to help set it up.


In April 2007 the Llani Car Club was launched officially with its first car, a 10-year-old Peugeot 405 diesel estate. Move forward 15 years, the Open Newtown Project based in Newtown Powys had secured funding for setting up a Mid Wales car club with EVs. By then, they had been running an EV for 2 years, so they worked with them to set up EV car clubs in Newtown, Welshpool and Machynlleth, which became known collectively as TripTo.


TripTo - an innovative electric car club


What do TripTo do?

We provide cars for people to drive in four towns in mid-Wales, Llanidloes, Newtown, Machynlleth and Welshpool. Members must complete an application form to make sure they satisfy our insurance criteria and are then given a familiarisation session so that they are comfortable with driving the EV and know the procedures for booking a car, collecting and returning the key, recording their journey details and charging the car. Members can book a car online and collect the keys at anytime. We take care of the admin and make sure the cars are insured, taxed and maintained.


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How have you helped others interested in EVs?

Our car clubs are open to members of the public, subject to them meeting our insurance criteria, so for no upfront cost, people can drive an EV. In the last year, many people have joined simply because we have EVs, even though they still have their own petrol/diesel car, they drive our EV on longer journeys. We also offer non-members the chance to be driven in an EV so they can experience it first hand rather than us just telling them how quiet and smooth it is.


TripTo - an innovative electric car club


What are we planning to do next?

We are currently working with 3 other communities in Mid Wales to help them do the groundwork prior to having their own EV.  It is called the Localities Initiative project, which has received £3,240 from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund. The idea is that each community finds at least 20 people who are interested in sharing an EV and work with them to make it a reality.


We think this model will be successful, because both Llanidloes and Machynlleth car clubs started with a small group of people and both clubs are still going 15 and 25 years later. The difference now is that EVs are a reality and there is a lot more interest in and an even greater need for car sharing.




The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit



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