U.K. electrical retailer launches free electric vehicle charging pilot


Rickmansworth, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — June 23, 2009

U.K. high street electrical specialist Comet has launched a pilot scheme that offers customers free charging for electric vehicles.

Comet is the first retailer to offer the service to customers, with “Plug & Go” points in its store car park in Purley Way, Croydon in south London.

The Plug & Go initiative is a response to electric vehicles becoming a high priority for government as the U.K. strives to meet its CO2 emission target by 2010, the company said in a statement. Should the service prove successful the intention is that it will be rolled out across the chain’s stores nationwide.

As an electrical specialist, the retailer has also announced that it is in talks to sell electric cars as soon as they become more available. In the 1980’s Comet stocked the iconic first electric cars, the Sinclair C5, making sales of electric cars a natural extension to its range.

“Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly important to London and we are supporting the need for greener transportation in the capital with the introduction of our free Plug & Go points,” commented Hugh Harvey, managing director of Comet. “As an electrical specialist we need to respond to customer demand and with electric vehicles set to revolutionize city living over the next few years, it is only right that we look to sell them as part of our offer.”

With road traffic in Greater London contributing over 18 percent of all CO2 emissions nationwide, electric vehicles are high on the agenda of the Mayor, Boris Johnson, who has made them one of the four focus areas in his plan for London to be the low carbon capital of the world (see Smart meters proposed as test bed project in London low carbon capital program).