North East England is being propelled to the forefront of the global ‘green’ motoring revolution, following confirmation that an advancednetwork of 1,300 electric vehicle (EV) recharging posts will be installed within the next three years.
Elektromotive, which is Europe’s leading EV infrastructure provider, has ramped up production in order to supply the first batch of 200 Elektrobay recharging posts during August 2010. This will be a critical element in a strategy to make the North East one of the most advanced regions in the world for sustainable transport.
The rapid installation timescales will ensure that North East England is home to the world’s largest single network of Elektrobay recharging posts by the end of 2010. The installations are being commissioned by Regional Development Agency One North East through Newcastle City Council, as part of the 'Plugged-In Places' initiative, which is helping to establish electric vehicle recharging infrastructure in key strategic locations around the UK.
Elektrobays were first introduced in Westminster, London in 2006, and currently more than 135 units are installed across the UK capital. A further 165 Elektrobays operate in cities and shopping centres around Britain, including 40 that have already been installed in North East England.
Elektromotive Managing Director Calvey Taylor-Haw, said: “The North East England project is an extremely welcome development in the creation of a robust EV recharging network in the UK. Publicly accessible recharging posts are essential for encouraging consumers to buy the new electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles that will aid progress towards a low carbon future. This project will set an ambitious new benchmark for future infrastructure projects in the UK and overseas.”
Elektromotive was selected as one of the North East’s preferred suppliers thanks to the Elektrobay’s future-proof technical platform – providing, for example, the option of remote billing and fast charging – and its stylish, compact design. Elektromotive was also able to demonstrate its ability to deliver large-scale infrastructure projects on time and to budget.
David Slater, Executive Director of Environment and Regeneration at Newcastle City Council said, “Newcastle was at the forefront of the carbon-based economy, and we are proud to be a partner in building the low carbon economy. It is particularly exciting to be working with the leading European manufacturer Elektromotive.”
Dozens of businesses and organisations have already signed up to the Plugged-In Places scheme in the North East, and the new posts will be installed soon at locations from Berwick to Teesside, including the Angel of the North, Gateshead; Claremont Road, Newcastle; Belmont Park & Ride, Durham; Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland; Park Lane Interchange, Sunderland; Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside; Souter Lighthouse, South Tyneside; Hartlepool Transport Interchange and Teesside University, Middlesbrough.
Ian Williams, Director of Business and Industry at One North East, said: “There is a great deal of enthusiasm across the North East for electric vehicles and the work taking place here is already helping to inform major national and international decisions in this industry.
“Important vehicle trials have been taking place here, which have already shown that range anxiety is a major issue for drivers who are considering using an electric car. Therefore the comprehensive network we are developing, allowing people to charge at home, at work, in town and city centres and at our visitor attractions, will be key to showing drivers that the switch to low carbon transport is viable.”
Calvey Taylor-Haw also commented: “Working with One North East and Newcastle City Council has been a breath of fresh air. Their drive, commitment and forward thinking will help to grow and sustain the automotive and green technology sectors in their region.