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Friday, 18 April 2014

Government cash for more electric car charging points in Cumbria

The number of charging points for electric cars in Cumbria will be boosted by more than £560,000 of Government funding.

Electric car power point photo
A Solway Renewables' PodPoint

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today pledged to invest more than £9 million across the country as he launched a joint campaign with car manufacturers to promote the benefits of ultra low emission vehicles.

Under the plans, Cumbria County Council will receive £562,500 for new charging points.

The grant, which will get an additional 25 per cent of private sector funding to take the total project value to more than £750,000, will see charging points installed in Carlisle, Penrith, Kendal, Barrow, Workington, Whitehaven, Keswick, Millom and Cockermouth.

Councillor Keith Little, the council’s cabinet member for highways, said: "Currently north Lancashire and Cumbria is pretty much a no-go area for travel by electric vehicle, as there is a very limited charging structure anywhere north of Preston."

Northern Rail has also been allocated £322,500 to install charging points in train station car parks.

Car makers BMW, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall are all backing a Go Ultra Low campaign, a partnership with the government to debunk common myths and misconceptions that put drivers off switching to electric or hybrid cars, such as cost and how far the vehicles can travel before being recharged.

Electric car owners do not have to pay car tax or congestion charges and many chargepoints are free to use. The cars cost from just 2p a mile, which means a family that drives an electric vehicle 10,000 miles in a year would save around £1,000 on fuel costs each year.

The £9m will be used to create hundreds more charging points across the country, including 140 new rapid chargepoints which can charge an electric car in less than half an hour.

Demand for electric cars in Cumbria is expected to grow strongly this year as the number of charging points increases. The county council itself is planning to buy 15 electric vehicles.

Solway Renewables, based at Bowness-on-Solway near Carlisle, secured government funding last year to install a network of charging points, known as PodPoints.

The first went in at Wallsend B&B, at Bowness-on-Solway, in July.

There are now 70, mostly in private homes, B&Bs and hotels.

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