Residents at eco-friendly Climate Innovation District development in Leeds make switch to electric cars

People living in an innovative development designed to tackle climate change have taken have taken further steps towards adopting a truly low-carbon lifestyle thanks to a new electric deal.

By Rebecca Marano
Monday, 13th December 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 13th December 2021, 11:54 am
Residents at the Climate Innovation District in Leeds have partnered with Enterprise Car Club to encourage all residents to use electric cars. Pictured is Jonathan Wilson, Development Director for Citu. Photo: James Hardisty.
Residents at the Climate Innovation District in Leeds have partnered with Enterprise Car Club to encourage all residents to use electric cars. Pictured is Jonathan Wilson, Development Director for Citu. Photo: James Hardisty.

Residents at the Climate Innovation District in Leeds, an award-winning low carbon development by leading sustainable developer Citu, have partnered with Enterprise Car Club.

Located on the Climate Innovation District’s Solar Avenue, every resident has free access to two electric vehicles for two years and drive time worth £50.

The car club scheme gives residents the collective power to reduce the number of vehicles owned across the development, a key part of the Climate Innovation District’s purpose to facilitate a more sustainable way of living in the city.

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Sean Bates, resident at the Climate Innovation District in Leeds.

Sean Bates, resident at the Climate Innovation District in Leeds comments, “The convenience of having the cars right here beneath our houses is absolutely amazing. We love the fact that the cars are all-electric as it means we can continue the ethos of Citu when we need to use a car.

"They’ve been so easy to use, once set up and registered it takes moments to head off, and with the resident discount it’s good value for money.

"As people who walk to work and therefore don’t need to commute, we really weren’t using our car that much at all.

“We decided to sell our car, which was a quite old and not environmentally friendly, and now we are car-free.

"For now, it suits us very well and we like the freedom and flexibility that comes from not owning a car.

"There are many additional costs involved in owning and running a car, but the car club gives you the benefits of a high-quality vehicle on your doorstep without these hidden extras.”

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Chris Thompson, managing director of Citu adds: “We make it easy to embrace elements of a low-carbon lifestyle with the energy-efficiency of the homes themselves.

"But we want to go further and nurture a cultural shift to help people living in the district to reduce their wider carbon footprint.

"It has always been our vision to make the Climate Innovation District as car free as possible, and to encourage the transition to zero-carbon transport.

"It’s why we’ve created a community that is in a central location just a short walk from Leeds city centre, train station and bus stops.”

He added: “However, we understand that for some residents having access to a car is a necessity, so working with Enterprise to bring their electric car club to the district has been ideal for those that need to drive occasionally.

"It gives residents the flexibility that they need but significantly reduces the carbon emissions that would come from using a standard diesel or petrol vehicle.”

Enterprise Car club members also have access to 1,400 car club vehicles in towns and cities across the UK.

Dan Gursel, Managing Director of Enterprise Car Club, said: “We are delighted to bring our car club service to the residents of the Climate Innovation District.

"We share their ambition and that of the Citu to improve air quality and reduce congestion by enabling people to make more sustainable travel choices.

“Leeds and the wider West Yorkshire region is an important area for Enterprise. We already have around 30 car club vehicles in Leeds and earlier this year we opened our flagship site in the Sheepscar district of the city, which provides access to rental and car club vehicles.

“We are continuing to expand Enterprise Car Club across the UK to reach communities large and small, so that people can quickly and easily pick up low emission and value for money vehicles when that is the best choice for their journey.”

Citu is developing over 1000 new low carbon homes alongside manufacturing, leisure, offices, a primary school, care home and climate resilient public facilities in Leeds.

The homes will be a mix of mainly 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, and 3 and 4 bedroom ‘family’ houses based around a European model of medium density urban housing with high architectural and design standards that create homes that feel light, bright and well designed.

Each home will have access to large amounts of outdoor space and the district creates a series of inter-linked pieces of high-quality public realm designed to encourage community interaction.

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