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Birmingham’s electric car plans get charged up

Birmingham’s electric car plans get charged up

Further details of Birmingham’s involvement in a project to develop electric cars of the future are set to be announced during the Low Carbon Vehicles Event 2009 at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire on September 9.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) will announce its Joined-Cities Plan which will build on the recently-launched Low Carbon vehicle programme which saw a joint bid drawn up by Birmingham and Coventry selected as a testing ground for 110 demonstration cars.

Within the new Joined-Cities Plan, the Council will work with both the Energy Technologies Institute and E.ON Central Networks to develop and implement detailed plans for a network of plug-in charging points that will enable such cars to operate effectively.

This will be the beginning of a network that it is hoped will ultimately allow motorists to use such vehicles across the UK.

In Birmingham, charging points will be established in a number of locations, potentially including workplaces, car parks, on the street as well as the homes of those involved with the plug-in vehicle trials, and valuable information about how the new system of charging cars will operate will be gained.

No definite figures have been set, but it is anticipated that there could be anything from several hundred to a few thousand charging points developed.

Cllr Len Gregory, Cabinet Member for Transportation and Street Services, said: “The Joined-Cities Plan is a vital piece in the jigsaw that will enable the development of plug-in vehicles as a feasible mode of mass-market transport in Birmingham.

“Such vehicles have enormous environmental benefits, as they are much quieter and emit no direct pollution – so it is important that we build the infrastructure that allows them to be used effectively, beyond their basic battery range.

“We are delighted that Birmingham is working with the ETI on this project, as it underlines our commitment to sustainability and will help us on our way to reducing carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2026.”

Dr David Clarke, CEO of the ETI, added: “The Energy Technologies Institute is pleased to be working with Birmingham City Council to support a UK collaboration to evaluate and accelerate the market for plug-in vehicles.

“Enabling plug-in vehicles to compete effectively in a market alongside petrol and diesel vehicles with their extensive infrastructure is a challenge. These plug-in vehicles are currently unknown to most consumers, who will want to know if they will be versatile, will they be affordable and will they be as easy to refuel/recharge.

“Through the Joined-Cities Plan we will help to enhance the versatility and ease of recharging. Other aspects of the ETI project will determine what it will take to reach a self sustaining mass market.”

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621.

  • Category: Birmingham City Centre Partnership
  • Reference number: 374-TSS-KK
  • Issue date: 08 September 2009