Community Electric Vehicles

Pilot project to trial community electric cars in Gwynedd.

Welcome to the Gwynedd community electric car share project!

CLICK HERE  for the Community Electric Car Project Report Year 1: Abergynolwyn & Bethesda 2019 – 2020

The first year of the project has come to an end, and its time for the cars to move to their new locations in Penygroes and Llanaelhaearn for the second year!

Want to use one? They are available for anyone to hire by the hour or day.

Have time to help those in your community unable to drive? Become a volunteer community driver.


The project

The Gwynedd community electric car share project is a two year project with two main aims.

  1. To trial a community car share model in rural communities and see if it helps people who are currently isolated through lack of public transport to access local services and facilities. The cars can serve those who do not have their own car and/or households that would like use of a second car occasionally. Through a team of volunteer drivers the cars can also assist those who are unable to drive, helping them reach medical appointments, for example, as well as social occasions, keeping them in touch with their local community.
  2. To raise awareness of electric cars and promote sustainable transport options. Electric cars are much more efficient than petrol or diesel cars, they can be powered by low carbon renewable energy, have zero tailpipe emissions and are cheaper to run. By giving people an easy opportunity to try out an electric car themselves, the project aims to prove to local residents that people can use an electric car in their day-to-day lives and that it is a viable alternative to a diesel or petrol car. The increase in electric cars on the road in Britain has been huge over the last 6 years (3,500 electric cars in 2013, to 227,000 electric cars end of August 2019)* and it is important that Gwynedd’s rural residents consider the benefits of electric cars, to themselves and to the environment.


The cars

“Carwen” and “Carwyn” are 40kWh Nissan LEAFs. They are 5 door, 5 seater cars with a good amount of boot space. They have an average range of 110-150 miles per charge, depending on driving style and conditions. Drivers that stay light on the accelerator and keep the power gauge in eco mode will get the upper end of that range spectrum – or more!

Without needing to stop and charge, you could easily drive from Penygroes to Machynlleth and back (106 miles), or drive from Llanaelhaearn to Manchester (118 miles) – though you may want to stop for a break during that 2.5hr journey!  And of course they can get you to the local supermarket or doctor’s surgery too.


The communities

For the first year of the project the car we have nicknamed “Carwen” will be based in Penygroes, managed by Siop Griffiths, and “Carwyn” in Llanaelhaearn, managed by Antur Aelhaearn.

Siop Griffiths Cyf are a social enterprise working for the benefit of Penygroes and the surrounding area.  For more information about them or “Carwen” visit The Orsaf Facebook page:

To register as a volunteer driver, contact Greta on

Antur Aelhaearn are a community group working for the benefit of Llanaelhaearn and the surrounding area. For more information about the group or “Carwyn”, visit their social media sites


The car locations

“Carwen” is based at a dedicated parking spot behind Siop Griffiths, Penygroes.

When making a booking this is where you will pick up and return “Carwen”.

“Carwyn” is based at a dedicated parking spot by Antur Aelhaearn’s warehouse.

When making a booking this is where you will pick up and return “Carwyn”.


How to book a car

The cars are being managed through Co-wheels Car Club. Co-wheels is a social enterprise whose primary focus is to help their members to save money, reduce car ownership and create a cleaner environment by making lower impact transport options available to everyone.

Users will need to register with Co-wheels (£5 with our promotion code). You will then be sent a smartcard that you will need to access the car whenever you book it out, so please register in plenty of time before you want to make your first booking.


Use promotion code AGW20 when registering.

This gives a £20 registration discount (making it £5 to register) and waives the £5 monthly minimum spend.


  1. Register with Co-wheels via this link using the AGW20 promotion code
  2. Set up your driver profile (you will need your National Insurance Number and a driving license check code
  3. Your details will be verified
  4. Receive your membership pack with a smartcard
  5. Book “Carwen” or “Carwyn” (from Monday 11 November onwards) or another one of Co-wheels’ cars across the UK!


Co-wheels provides insurance cover, breakdown cover and a 24hr user helpline. Full details, (including excess), terms and conditions are on their website.

Hire prices

Hour – £3

Overnight* – £6

Day** – £21

Per mile – Free

 *8pm-8am **Any 24hr period

“Carwen” and “Carwyn” have different prices to other Co-wheels Car Club cars. If you book other Co-wheels cars, different prices will apply.


Charging the cars

Each car has a dedicated parking place with a 7kW charger. This will charge the car at approximately 30miles/20% per hour. While the project is going this charging point is just for the use of the community car and not open for general public use. The charging cable is stored in the boot of the car.

Charging the car at its home charger is free.


Planning your journey

If you would like to use the car on a journey that is longer than the range of the car, you will have to charge it at a public charger. Before you set off, use PlugShare or ZapMap to help you plan your journey and research details of any chargers you may wish to use. You will be responsible for activating and paying for any charges while you have the car.


Rapid chargers

The cars are rapid charge compatible, using Chademo (the large charging socket) and will charge from low to 80% in approximately 40mins at a rapid charger. There is usually a fee for using a Rapid charger, and having the company’s app or RFID card is often needed to start the charge. E.g ElectricHighway or Polar Instant.

Fast chargers

You can also use a 7kW charger, which will charge from low to 80% in approximately 4 hrs. These are especially useful if you are at your destination and are doing something else anyway (not just waiting for the car to charge!). You can also just use them to ‘top up’ if you are stopping for a shorter time. They are often low cost and sometimes free.


Any questions?

The community groups will be happy to chat to you and answer any questions you may have about the cars, including registering, booking, charging or volunteering.

For “Carwen” in Penygroes, contact Greta at Siop Griffiths.

For “Carwyn” in Llanaelhaearn, contact Llyr ap Rhisiart at Egni Abergynolwyn Energy.

Happy electric driving!


‘How to’ Videos:


1) How to charge at a home location


2) How to charge using a rapid charger


3) How to drive Carwyn and Carwen







Find out more about what we do...

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Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig, 146 Stryd Fawr, Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL49 9NU