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U.K. EV Recharging Network Set To Surge

The government’s ≤25 million Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator scheme, which aims to accelerate a shift towards low-emissions motoring, will pave the way for the creation of the world’s biggest network of electric vehicle (EV) recharging stations.

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The organisations involved in implementing the eight Demonstrator programmes across the U.K. have together committed to installing more than 500 roadside, car park, business and home charging stations by June 2010. The majority will be produced and installed by Brighton-based Elektromotive, in what will become the world’s biggest-ever co-ordinated EV infrastructure installation project.

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The government’s Technology Strategy Board has confirmed that eight separate consortia – involving car manufacturers, power companies, regional development agencies and academic bodies – will each receive a portion of the new £25 million funding. The consortia will co-ordinate trials of approximately 340 electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrid cars in London, Glasgow, North-East England, the West Midlands and Oxford.

Many of the new charging stations that will be installed around the U.K. are Elektrobays, identical to those 160 already sited in London and in other locations around the U.K. The Elektrobay is the only recharging station currently in widespread day-to-day use anywhere in the world. The very high level of round-the-clock usage of the Elektrobays in London provides an insight into how the creation of a proven infrastructure has become a pre-requisite for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids by consumers.  

"This is a hugely significant project that will place the U.K. at the forefront of global efforts to accelerate widespread uptake of electric vehicles," said Calvey Taylor Haw, Managing Director for Elektromotive. "The news that Elektromotive will take a key role underlines the company’s status as the world’s leading provider of EV infrastructure solutions. This initiative will enable us to bring forward moves to deploy all-new 32 amp fast charge technologies, as well as our EBConnect remote monitoring and billing system." (Tyres & Accessories/Staffordshire, U.K.)

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