The development of an electric vehicles infrastructure in the north east of England has been given a boost by an international collaboration between private sector companies.
The AA, Tesco, British Gas, CE Electric UK and Capital Shopping Centres are working together to deliver charging points, technical advice and promotional material that will encourage the use of electric vehicles in the region.
As part of the programme, regional development agency, One North East, has been tasked with installing 750 charging points over the next two years. The first 40 of these have already been installed in Newcastle and Gateshead.
The £10.7m project will also see 35 new electric passenger vehicles developed in the north east as part of One North East’s £30m plan to base the future car industry in the region.
Chris Pywell, One North East’s head of strategic economic change, said: ‘Electric vehicles are not a futuristic vision; they are on our roads now. It’s a reality that we must take advantage of, not only to lower our carbon emission levels, but to exploit the economic potential it offers the region.
‘We want the north east to be showing the rest of the world how best to develop a comprehensive infrastructure to support the use of electric vehicles.’
Tesco will be supporting the project by installing electric car charging points at selected supermarket locations in the north east, and British Gas will be installing an electric vehicle charging infrastructure on sites throughout the region.
David North, Tesco community and government director, said: ‘As well a strong commitment to reduce carbon emissions, Tesco is committed to helping our customers make green choices. Our involvement in this project is part of this commitment and will help us understand how we can best support our customers as electric car use grows.’
Gearoid Lane, managing director at British Gas New Energy, added: ‘The partnership with One North East is further evidence of our strategy to invest in low-carbon technologies. Some 24 per cent of the UK’s total CO2 emissions come from transport, half of them from passenger cars. Cutting vehicle emissions is therefore a key element to tackling climate change.’