England

Yorkshire bid to create electric car network

Electric car being charged

A consortium has unveiled plans to install a network of 700 electric car charging points across Yorkshire.

The group wants to encourage people to switch to electric cars by providing places to top up batteries, primarily in Leeds, Sheffield, York and Hull.

Led by CO2Sense, an arm of regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, it is bidding for a share of £30m of government cash to fund the project.

Charging points would be placed in car parks and on trunk roads and motorways.

CO2Sense project manager Nicole Ballantyne said: "People are reluctant to buy electric cars unless they know that they'll be able to recharge them at their destination. That's where we come in.

"We aim to set up a network of charging points in the main cities in Yorkshire, so that anyone will be able to drive from Hull to Leeds, York or Sheffield, knowing that they will be able to recharge their cars once they arrive.

100-mile range

"Yorkshire is the ideal place to do this. We have a large number of conurbations which would be suitable to be linked together.

"With our motorway network - the M1, M62 and M18 - we have transport corridors running north to south and east to west."

Electric cars have a range of around 100 miles - enough for most routine journeys to work, school and the shops.

It costs about £1 to "fill the tank" by charging the batteries, and owners of electric cars are exempt from vehicle excise duty.

Charging an electric car can take up to four hours, but the Yorkshire plan includes rapid-charge technology on main roads which cuts the time to 90 minutes.

CO2Sense said if its bid was successful it could start work by the end of 2010 and have much of the network operational within the year, when the first mass market electric cars are expected to be available.

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