Plugged in city scheme aiming to develop 500 charging points
Moves to encourage more electric cars onto Birmingham’s roads have gathered pace with the installation of 36 charging points.
The plug-in facilities are at 18 sites across the city. Electric car owners will be able to use the facilities in return for an annual £24 membership of Plugged In Midlands, which is developing a network of more than 500 charging points across the Midlands.
Charge points are now available in the city centre, Aston, Harborne, Northfield, Sutton Coldfield, Acocks Green, Kings Heath and Moseley. The latest roll-out cost more than £160,000, of which £96,000 was provided by Plugged in Midlands.
Council green boss Coun James McKay tested a Nissan Leaf and Vauxhall Ampera at the new points.
He said: “The widespread use of electric vehicles is some distance away but they are starting to gain a foothold in the market. This means it is essential we develop the infrastructure which will make their use as easy as possible.
“The new charging points are in a range of key locations, with many offering free parking for up to three hours.
“We are committed to offering the widest range of sustainable transport options possible and will continue to explore how we can bring further innovations to Birmingham.”
Last year, a House of Commons inquiry found Government plans to encourage motorists to buy electric cars had flopped. MPs said drivers struggled to find charging points and grants for electric vehicles failed to tempt motorists.
Commons Transport Committee chairman Louise Ellman said: “Department for Transport expenditure on plug-in cars – £11 million – has benefited a handful of motorists.’’
To join the scheme go to www.pluggedinmidlands.co.uk