Electric-vehicle project wins UK government support

The East of England is set to lead the UK’s development and take-up of electric vehicles after a major funding bid was given the green light this week by Philip Hammond, the transport secretary.

The East of England’s EValu8 project – to install a major network of electric charging points across the region – won up to £2.9m of funding through the government’s Plugged in Places initiative. Projects in the Midlands, Greater Manchester, Scotland and Northern Ireland were also given the go-ahead by government.

With more than £7m now in place, from partners including the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and other private and public sector organisations committed to match-funding plug-in points, work on installing the network of 1,200 smart recharging points is scheduled to start in Spring 2011.

Retail outlets, public car parks, railway stations, local businesses and residential streets have already been identified as prime locations for plug-in points to be installed across the East of England, particularly focussed in hot-spots in and around Bedford, Luton, Cambridge, Ipswich, Norwich, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Thames Gateway South Essex and London Stansted Airport.

EValu8 will eventually provide an integrated network of plug-in points stretching all the way from London to the north Norfolk coast, and from Milton Keynes to Felixstowe. By the end of 2013, all local businesses and residents in the East of England will be no more than 25 miles away from a recharging post.

To find out more about EValu8, the East of England’s Plugged in Places project, including a full list of partners supporting the project, visit www.eastofengland.uk.com/business.