The North East Combined Authority (NECA) will benefit from the installation of two electric vehicle rapid filling stations in the region.
Worth £4 million, the contract will see the development of two stations close to major routes, which will provide another step in facilitating the growing number of electric vehicles in the north east, and the UK as a whole.
Current numbers suggest 13,000 electric vehicles operate in the UK, and in the UK as a whole, there are 130,000.
These rapid charging points, which give electric vehicles a greater charge than if they were plugged in at home, have been made possible thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK Collaboration for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) programme, and the Department for Transport’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Together, this has raised £4 million for one charging point in Newcastle, part of Newcastle University’s Newcastle Helix site that will result in further research on electric vehicles.
The second site in Sunderland is close to the A1018, which is one of the city’s busiest routes, used by more than 20,000 vehicles per day.
The Authority, which serves seven councils including County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland, is continuing a trend seen by many other local authorities, who see the move to electric vehicles increasing.
Indeed, many are trying to use this technology on their fleets for the likes of waste management, which also brings down the level of pollution in these built-up areas.
According to Helen Golightly, the NECA’s Head of Paid Service and Executive Director at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, contracts like these show the region’s long term strategy.
“The support NECA and others are receiving from the ERDF and the government is fundamental to seeing this long term shift away from petrol and diesel. More plug-in points means more confidence for drivers to adopt cleaner and greener vehicles.”