The British Government is ramping up its push for electric vehicle infrastructure by today offering £30 million (AUD$54.4 million) grants to prospective pioneering cities.
The Plugged-In Places initiative will support the development of 3-6 electric car cities which will involve installing charging points in streets, car parks and in commercial, retail and leisure facilities.
In total the government is investing around $725 million to encourage the development, manufacture and use of ultra-low carbon vehicles.
Transport secretary, Andrew Adonis, said his ambition was to reduce carbon from road transport, create new jobs and develop the skills necessary to operate national charging infrastructure in the future.
“Our aim is for electric and low carbon cars to be an everyday feature of life on UK’s roads in less than five years.“There is still a lot of work to be done, however Plugged-In Places is one very significant step putting us firmly on the path to a low carbon future,” he said.
Business Minister, Pat McFadden, encouraged local companies to get on board.
“The move to lower-carbon forms of transport is a turning point for the automotive industry, opening up new opportunities for existing UK automotive companies and with the potential to create new jobs and new industries, for example around the charging infrastructure.
“I urge British companies to get involved and seize these new opportunities for growth and jobs.“Our aim is for Britain to become a global centre for low carbon transport development, manufacturing and delivery – the Government is backing businesses who want to help make this happen.”
In Australia, Better Place – our electric vehicle infrastructure and service provider – announced in July that work on Australia’s electric system would start in 2011.
Charge stations and battery swap spots should be fully operational by 2012, and from there the network will expand across the whole country.
by Tim Beissmann