Plugged-in places electric cars recharging infrastructure expects to survive the government's upcoming spending review and continue growing across the UK.
The “plugged-in places” scheme is expected to survive from the government's upcoming spending review, covering the way for the accelerated rollout of electric car recharging networks in British cities.
The Department for Transport has this year awarded £8.8m in match funding to the first three 'plugged-in places', financing the rollout of electrical car recharging points in London, Milton Keynes and the North East.
Under the plugged-in places scheme, the three regions plan to install a total of 2,500 additional charging points in the first year of the rollout and about 11,000 over the next three years.
One government source said that the government supports the plugged-in places scheme in principle, but in terms of funding and how it would work, that has to be decided in the spending review.
Manufacturers warned that they could reverse their decision to locate new electric car plants in the UK if the government withdrew support to the plugged-in places scheme.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) said the plugged-in places scheme has already proven extremely popular and as a result the West Midlands, Cornwall, Sheffield, the Lake District, Greater Manchester and Northern Ireland are all preparing to bid for the second round of funding if it is approved.
However, manufacturers that had decided to locate new electric car plants in the UK warned that they could reverse their decision if the government withdrew support designed to boost demand for the technology. According to industry insiders, the effectiveness of the electric car incentives could be undermined if there is not a similar investment in recharging infrastructure through the Plugged-in Places scheme.
A recent report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed that currently there are just 100 charging points around the UK, although some of those points offer multiple charging hubs.
The report predicted that 'Thanks to the Plugged-in Places scheme, the number of electric vehicle charging points is due to significantly increase over the next few years.'
Teams from Australia, Germany and Switzerland set off from Geneva yesterday on an around-the-world electric car race that will see the vehicles drop in on the Cancun climate change summit in late November.
The so-called Zero Race is backed by the UN and IT giant Google and will see the teams cover 18,642 miles and pass through 150 cities before returning to Geneva in January. Louis Palmer, the race organizer, said the competition would demonstrate that 'we have solutions [to climate change], such as electric cars and renewable energy.'