Midlands to lead on electric vehicle charge points

By on 15/12/2010 in News

Cenex - the UK's first Centre of Excellence for low carbon vehicle technologies - has announced that the Midlands will be one of the eight UK 'Plugged-In Places' selected by Government to lead on electric vehicle infrastructure deployment. 

A consortium of Midlands businesses and local authorities, led by Cenex, has secured up to £2.9 million of funding from the Government to support a £6.3 million programme to install more than 500 charge posts in high profile locations, including shopping centres and railway stations, across the East and West Midlands.

The first phase of the project (2011 to 2013) will see charge post deployment focused in three areas:

  1. West Midlands: Coventry, Birmingham, Worcester
  2. East Midlands: Three cities region of Leicester, Nottingham and Derby
  3. East Midlands: Corby and Northampton

Lead partners in the project include Central Networks, E.ON's distribution business, Birmingham City Council, Coventry City Council, Leicester City Council and Nottingham City Council.  The project will be managed by Cenex and Central Technology Belt, with more than 50 organisations participating in the project.

The funding is part of wider efforts by the Government to switch motorists to electric vehicles.  The Government's strategy combines funding for infrastructure deployment with a 'Plug-In-Car Grant' of up to £5,000 per car for the new wave of electric vehicles to be launched in 2011. The Midlands competed with eleven other 'second round' bidders and was one of five bids selected to join three existing 'plugged in places'.

Announcing the selection of the successful regions, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: “A few years ago, ultra-low emission cars with mass market appeal appeared just a pipe dream.  Now they are a reality and we can have all the convenience of the car without the carbon that normally goes with it. Government action to support affordable vehicles and more local charging points means we are on the threshold of an exciting green revolution – 2011 could be remembered as the year the electric car took off. The British public has in the past shown it’s ready to embrace new technology and take practical steps to adopt a lifestyle kinder to the environment, so we could really be at the start of something big.”

Birmingham City Council Deputy Leader and sustainability champion Cllr Paul Tilsley said: “I am very pleased that the Midlands Consortium bid has been successful. Birmingham as a lead partner is looking forward to Woking with the other midlands cities in the bid – Worcester, Coventry, Nottingham. Leicester and Northampton. Having already installed electric vehicle charging points in Birmingham City Centre with the CABLED project, we are ready to accelerate the drive forward on promoting electric cars across the Midlands.”

Robert Evans, CEO of Cenex, said, “We are very pleased to have led a successful bid against stiff competition from other regions.  We are looking forward to working with businesses and local authorities across the Midlands to roll out charge posts to help support the first wave of electric vehicle sales.”

Charles Bradshaw-Smith, Head of E-Mobility, Research and Development at E.ON, said: “We welcome the Government's announcement that cars can take advantage of the UK's Plug-in Car Grant and we're delighted that E.ON has been awarded a Plugged-in Places contract for the East and West Midlands as part of the Cenex consortium bid. As a company we're continuing to help people get energy fit, and sustainable travel is a key part of that.
 
“At E.ON we're already providing charging infrastructure in the UK as part of the CABLED initiative in Coventry and Birmingham, and our experience of fast charging in Germany means that we're extremely well placed to provide an infrastructure which will help make electric vehicle charging more convenient for customers in the UK. This is an exciting time for infrastructure in the UK and it's fantastic that power networks and funding for electric vehicles are beginning to take shape.”

The other 'Plugged in Places' are London, Milton Keynes, the North East, Greater Manchester, East of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. 

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Birmingham City Council is a lead partner in the CABLED project. The City Council has supported the 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.

About Cenex
Cenex is the UK's first Centre for Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell technologies. By encouraging the early market adoption of low carbon and fuel cell technologies in automotive applications, Cenex aims to assist the UK automotive supply chain to compete in global markets as well as showcase UK expertise to encourage inward investment.

Cenex
Sue Glanville/Jo Gwaspari
Say Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 8971 6400
cenex@saycomms.co.uk

Birmingham City Council
Sandy Taylor
sandy.taylor@birmingham.gov.uk

Kris Kowalewski
Tel: 0121 303 3621/87
Mob: 07920 750008
kris.kowalewski@birmingham.gov.uk

Central Technology Belt
Andrew Stanbridge
Tel: 01886 833592
andrew.stanbridge@centraltechnologybelt.com

Coventry City Council
David Iles
Tel: 02476 831083
David.Iles@coventry.gov.uk

Leicester City Council
Christian Dezelu
Tel: 0116 296081
Christian.Dezelu@leicester.gov.uk

Nottingham City Council
Stephan RicheuxTel: 0115 8763309
stephan.richeux@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Northamptonshire
Richard Moore
Tel: 01604 609393
richard.moore@northamptonshireenterprise.ltd.uk

E.ON
Rebecca Bieniaszewska
024 7618 3202
Rebecca.Bieniaszewska@eon-uk.com

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