Charged up for award win

By on 04/07/2011 in News

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Electric vehicle charging points, introduced to Birmingham as part of a city council-backed trial scheme, have been recognised for their innovative qualities at the West Midlands Constructing Excellence Awards 2011.

The award was won by engineering firm Atkins for its involvement in the scheme.

Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This award is further independent recognition of the efforts we are making to transform Birmingham into one of the leading sustainable cities.

“If electric vehicles are to become a feasible form of mass transportation, it is essential we get the infrastruture in place now, even if just on a limited basis as with with CABLED project, so we learn what does and doesn’t work for motorists.

“Thanks to the strong partnerships we have developed with companies such as Atkins, our work is now starting to make a positive difference as we seek to make Birmingham a cleaner and greener place in which to live.”

ENDS

For more information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

Notes to editors

About the CABLED consortium

The West Midlands consortium, called CABLED - short for Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators - is made up of 12 organisations, led by Arup, a company with experience that crosses all areas that touch this project, from vehicle design to planning to infrastructure and energy. The consortium will develop and demonstrate more than 100 road-worthy vehicles to be trialled in the two cities over 12 months. Part funding for the project has been approved from the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands.

Each of the five vehicle manufacturers in the consortium - Jaguar/Land Rover, Mitsubishi/Colt, Mercedes Benz/Smart, Tata Motors and Microcab Industries - are contributing their own vehicles towards the low carbon scheme, which includes a mix of fully electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell cars.

Electricity providers E.ON are delivering charging points for the trial with assistance from the city councils of Birmingham and Coventry.

Three of the Midland's leading universities play a major role in the scheme with Coventry University undertaking the selection process of drivers, Aston University analysing vehicle usage data and the University of Birmingham contributing access and expertise gained from its upgraded hydrogen fuelling station, which is currently one of the very few of its kind in UK. A new hydrogen station has been installed at Coventry University.

The Technology Board's Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Competition

As part of the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform, £25 million has been allocated to eight highly innovative, industry-led collaborative research projects in the field of ultra low carbon vehicle development and demonstration. The competition, which culminated in June 2009 with the announcement of successful applicants, focused on encouraging the development of industry-led consortia that could deliver in bringing significant numbers of demonstrator vehicles onto roads quickly. The competition winners are delivering over 340 new innovative cars on the road in eight locations around the UK over an 18 month period.

About The Technology Strategy Board's contribution

The government-backed Technology Strategy Board is working with business to speed up the development of low carbon vehicles, towards the point where they become a practical reality and UK business can benefit from the future commercial opportunities.

The winning projects have received a total of £25 million as part of an ongoing commitment to invest jointly with the industry to speed up the introduction of low carbon vehicles. This will support the investment already made by the consortia themselves and is the most significant step to date in the UK of a co-ordinated move towards low carbon transport.

To meet the UK's commitment to an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050, the carbon output of transport - currently a quarter of all UK emissions - has to be significantly reduced. The vehicles that we drive need to be part of the solution.

The journey towards low carbon transport will not be easy but the demonstrator programme is a major step in the right direction. With over 340 cars being trialled in several regions across the UK, and with the involvement of large and small manufacturers, RDAs, local authorities, universities and infrastructure companies, it is the biggest project of its kind to date.

About the Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org .

Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council is a lead partner in the CABLED project. The City Council has supported E.ON's installation of 18 electric vehicle charging points in the city centre. The City Council has also committed through the “Birmingham Declaration” to all its vehicle purchases being electric or LPG by 2015. It is completing a major “green fleet” review of its vehicles which will lead to new electric vehicle procurements in the next two years. The promotion of electric vehicles is a key priority for Birmingham in its Climate Change Action Plan and its aim to cut the city's overall carbon emissions by 60% by 2026. More information can be found at www.cabled.org.uk

Birmingham City Council published the Birmingham Declaration on climate change in December 2009.

The declaration, approved by councillors, underlines the city's ambition to be at the forefront of the effort nationally and internationally to tackle issues around sustainability.

Underpinning the declaration is a plan to use the council's purchasing power and influence as a vehicle to stimulate green initiatives which will provide significant employment opportunities for Birmingham's people and reduce energy bills for citizens and businesses alike.

The declaration states that by 2015:

– All vehicles bought by the council should be electrically powered or run on liquefied petroleum gas
– There will be at least 500 electric cars running on the streets of the city as we will develop the electric charging infrastructure
– 50 per cent of electricity used by the council should be generated from renewable sources
– The city council's energy consumption will be reduced by 25 per cent
– Ten per cent of Birmingham homes will be linked to district heating systems
– Ten per cent of Birmingham homes will have retrofit insulation
– There will be at least ten “low carbon communities” similar to the successful example of Summerfield Eco-neighbourhood

It is envisaged that the declaration will help Birmingham meet its ambitious target of reducing CO2 levels in the city by 60 per cent by 2026 when compared to 1990 levels

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