Impact project/investment of the year - air quality: Ethex's Co Cars investment

Launching a community share offer with the UK-based non-profit organisation Ethex last year, just before Covid lockdowns hit the country, Co Cars surpassed its £600,000 ($833,869) funding target, with a final close at £665,000 from 300 investors.Lisa Ashford

Co Cars is a low carbon on-demand shared mobility scheme that provides electric cars and bikes for its members, which has seen the removal of more than 150 private cars from the road and saved 149 tonnes of CO2 per annum, over the last five years. With the funding, Co Cars will increase its fleet of electric vehicles and expand its membership, aiming to remove an additional 150 cars from the road and a further 230 tonnes of CO2 per annum. Each Co Car in use is known to take 8.5 vehicles off the road.

Currently, Co Cars has more than 1,200 members across South West UK, who have reported a 30% reduction in car use, a 15% reduction in travel costs and a 20% increase in walking and cycling as a result of using Co Cars' services.

"The team at Ethex are excited that the Co Cars investment raise has been recognised by the Impact Awards. Our community of positive investors got behind the Co Cars vision of a future with fewer petrol cars on the roads, meaning cleaner air, less congestion and more connected places," said Lisa Ashford, CEO of Ethex.

Co Cars is targeting a return of 5% for Ethex investors who participated in this funding round. Ethex targets investment opportunities in grassroots community organisations to enable them to build resilient communities, reduce poverty and fight climate change through affordable finance.