£30 million for electric car charging points in U.K.


London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — November 23, 2009 – The United Kingdom government is making available £30 million for the installation of charging points for electric vehicles on streets, car parks and in commercial, retail and leisure facilities.

The initiative, Plugged-In Places, will support the development of between three and six electric car cities and regions across the U.K., which will act as trailblazers for electric car technology. The experiences of these locations will inform the future development of a national charging infrastructure.

The funding, to be made available in two phases, will be provided to consortia made up of local authorities, businesses, electricity distributors and suppliers and other organizations.

The total number and location of charging infrastructure supported by this initiative will depend on local plans and requirements. The intention is that successful applicants will match the government’s investment.

“Our aim is for electric and low carbon cars to be an everyday feature of life on U.K. roads in less than five years,” said Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis. “There is still a lot of work to be done, however Plugged-In Places is one very significant step putting us firmly on the path to a low carbon future.”  

The government believes that while in the long term the private sector, either in the form of electricity suppliers and distributors or other third parties, will ultimately take the lead in infrastructure provision, in the early years infrastructure needs to be delivered by a combination of government (both central and local) and private sector contributions.

Through Plugged-In Places, the creation of a critical mass of infrastructure is envisaged in a number of lead cities or regions, which are best placed to be at the forefront of the adoption of electric vehicles. As part of the initiative, different approaches for recharging electric vehicles will be tested.

Overall, the government is investing around £400 million to encourage the development, manufacture and use of next generation ultra-low carbon vehicles. Delivered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles this support is being targeted to create new jobs in a low carbon automotive sector and to cut carbon from U.K. road transport.

The government also announced that with funding of £500,000 through the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Grant Program, among other developments 72 electric charging points will be provided in London and the West Midlands.