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  • By Miles Davis
  • BBC Political Reporter, Devon

Image source, Miles Davis

Image caption,

Electric cars run by Co-Cars were offered around Devon and Cornwall

More than 10,000 members of a failed electric car and bike-share company are unlikely to get any money back, administrators have said.

The social enterprise company that operated in Devon and Cornwall faces debts of about £500,000.

Devon County Council had spent more than £300,000 on supporting the electric bike scheme.

The Co-Cars company also raised more than £600,000 in a community share offer that ended in July 2020, with more than 300 investors.

A progress report by the administrators, Milsted Langdon, said claims were to be received from “10,426 bike and car membership creditors whose debts are estimated at £58,285”.

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The firm said it failed to attract sufficient additional funding to keep trading

The administrators said they had received claims totalling £432,085 from 17 trade creditors.

Both the membership creditors and the trade creditors were described as “unsecured creditors” who were not expected to be paid.

The company, founded in 2005, offered “on-demand” e-bike and car rental in Exeter, Truro, Falmouth and Plymouth.

The administrators’ report said Co-Cars leased most of its 42 cars but eight cars it owned were all sold at auction for a total price of £36,333 plus VAT.

All of the 240 e-bikes were sold for £14,884 plus VAT.

The administrators and Devon County Council said they were speaking about the removal of the remaining Co-Bike infrastructure.

Image caption,

Co Cars and Co Bikes ceased trading in July

Devon County Council said most of the investment into Co-Cars and Co-Bikes social enterprise came from government grants and could only be used “for improving sustainable and active travel transportation and bike hire in the city”.

The council said it was “not expecting to receive any monies back following the firm’s collapse”.

A spokesman said the council was developing tenders for a replacement car club provider and separate bike hire providers.

When the company folded in July, Mr Eversett said the business was no longer viable due to the cost of living crisis, high fuel prices, vandalism of the bikes and supply chain issues.

Mr Eversett did not respond to a request for comment on the latest progress report.

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