Hertz, the car rental company, is setting up a car sharing club in Oxford that will only offer electric vehicles.

This probably makes a lot more sense for most people than buying an electric car. Members of the car club can rent the Nissan Leafs by the hour for as little as £5 and can recharge them at any one of 32 charging points round the city (due to expand to 60 charging points soon).

Of course, the big issue with electric cars is that they are not much use for long-trips, so it can seem a bit of a waste to spend over £20,000 on a car that is mostly suitable for short journeys. However, the car club neatly solves the problem. People can rent the Leafs for shopping trips or journeys around Oxfordshire without having all that money tied up in owning the car.

If the Oxford approach proves a success, it is to be hoped other cities will follow suit. Car clubs are proving very popular in London, and electric cars would be ideal. If you could rent one for a couple of hours, return it and leave it recharging for the next user, it could start to reduce the levels of urban pollution in major cities. London, for example, consistently breaks EU limits on air pollution.