Electric Cars: Charging Points To Boost Sales
Thousands of new charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) will be installed across the country to try to boost the market for so-called zero emission cars.
The Government is launching the second phase of its Plugged in Places scheme which has so far funded 2,800 of the approximately 8,000 charging points for battery powered cars in the UK.
The Department for Transport will announce millions of pounds in funding for home and on-street charging as well as charging points at railway stations.
Until now, take up of EVs has been slow, with only 3,000 on Britain's roads.
But industry experts believe new European models could see the number double each year from now on and they predict that prices will fall.
In the North East of England, a pilot area for EV infrastructure, researchers believe plug in points on the streets are essential for persuading motorists to switch to batteries from petrol and diesel engines.
Dr Yvonne Huebner from Newcastle University says despite Government figures showing 93% of car journeys are 25 miles or less, many would-be EV buyers have what she calls range anxiety.
She explained: "Lots of people still think there is no charging infrastructure around and that prevents them from buying electric cars.
"So we need public infrastructure to show people that there are lots of places they could plug in if they needed to."
The new Government funding is being announced at Gateshead College next to Nissan's Sunderland factory which will soon be making 50,000 Leaf plug-in cars and 60,000 EV batteries every year.
The college has also set up a company, Zero Carbon Futures, to capitalise on the region's expertise.
Managing director Colin Herron told Sky News that while the new charging points are important, EVs are just one part of the future of motoring technology.
"Trucks, heavy vehicles, buses probably won't become electric," he predicts.
"They may be hydrogen, they may be gas, (and) the EV will be predominantly the urban run-around."