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10 September 2012, 05:32
A project's being launched to create a Pay As You Go network of charging points for electric cars - with the North East picked as one of the areas to test it out.
The national Plugged in Places programme, which provides funding to install electric vehicle (EV) charging points in North East England, is funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Through the programme, North East England was chosen as one of three pilot areas to trial the creation of a comprehensive connected charging infrastructure through this project.
To date almost 500 electric vehicle charging points have been installed throughout the region.
The project is also responsible for trialling different charging standards and technologies, helping the region and the UK to understand how EV drivers will choose to charge and the impact that this will have on the infrastructure and the grid.
In June of this year Charge your Car announced a joint venture with Elektromotive Limited, Europe's leading provider of charge points, to develop a national EV charging point network.
The partnership is set to create the UK's largest Pay As You Go network with a goal to create a recharging infrastructure with 10,000 public access charge points across the UK.
Grants are available for businesses and individuals wishing to have a charging point installed on their premises.
Facts about electric vehicles
* They are just like a conventional vehicles but are fuelled by a battery instead of petrol or diesel
* There are now a full range of electric vehicles on the market including: - Renault ZE range: Kangoo Van ZE, Fluence ZE, Twizy ZE and the Zoe ZE which will be launched early next year - Peugeot iOn - Mitsubishi iMiev - Citroen C-Zero - Nissan LEAF (which will be manufactured in Sunderland from early 2013 for the whole of Europe)
* Sales of electric vehicles are predicted to be as many as two million by 2020
* The average distance an electric car will drive is 90 miles but in the North East 96% of people drive under 50 miles a day so an electric car is feasible.
Facts about the EV charging in North East England
* There are currently 497 electric vehicle (EV) charging points in place throughout the North East, comprising of standard, domestic and quick chargers
* These charging points have been used in total over 10,000 times
* 150 electric vehicles are currently on the roads in North East England
* It takes between four and six hours to fully charge a car from flat depending on the type of vehicle
* The Charge your Car network stretches from Berwick in the north of the region to Yarm and Guisborough in the south
* For over 90% of the time driving in the North East, an EV is within 5km of a charging point
* For over 99% of the time, an EV is within 15km of a charging point
* The North East is home to the most connected network of quick charging stations with ten now in place throughout the region. These are vital to ensure that EV drivers can make longer journeys as they charge an EV in under 30 minutes
* The UK's first public quick charger was installed at the Metrocentre in Gateshead in January 2011
* 57 partners have installed charging points throughout the North East, these comprise of local authorities, private businesses, shopping centres, leisure facilities and even the police and fire service.
* Funding of up to 75% is available to businesses, organisations and individuals towards the installation of standard and domestic charging points.