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UK charge point rollout targets hospitals and stations

Government awards funding to councils, public sector organisations, and train companies to install public chargers under £37m scheme

By Will Nichols

01 Aug 2013

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An electric car being recharged

New electric car charging points will appear at hospitals, stations and along streets across the UK as the government’s plans to support low emissions vehicles step up a gear.

Ministers yesterday announced the winning bids for funding to install charging infrastructure and invited train operators, local authorities and other public sector organisations to apply for a second round of the £37m Plugged in Places competition, which will close at the end of October.

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Under the terms of the scheme, the coalition government will provide 75 per cent of the cost of installing new standard and rapid charge points targeted at commuters, shoppers, and office workers.

Among the winners, Transport for London secured almost £600,000 in grants for 2013/14 and a further £55,750 for the following year, while Milton Keynes was awarded £522,606 for one year, and Bristol City Council £225,000 in the first year and £337,500 the following year to support the rollout of rapid chargers. Train companies Southeastern, Greater Anglia, Virgin, and Northern Rail were also among the winning bids.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “This is brilliant news for those already using these vehicles and will give greater confidence to those who are considering making the switch to electric. With new models coming to market every month from major motor vehicle manufacturers and running costs of 2p to 3p a mile, these vehicles are an increasingly attractive option for many consumers and businesses.”

This announcement comes after the government committed an extra £500m to drive forward the market for ultra-low emission vehicles and revealed it is working with car manufacturers on a “joint government and industry communications push” to promote electric cars.

Further details on how the £500m is to be spent are expected in the government’s long-term strategy for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs), which is due in early autumn. Further industry support has already been provided by a planned £1bn Advanced Propulsion Centre, jointly funded by government and industry, designed to build on the momentum created by Nissan kicking off production of its bellwether electric car the Leaf at its Sunderland plant earlier this year.
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