The UK’s first ever Pay as you Go electric vehicle (EV) charging post scheme is being trialled in the North East, representing the first step towards developing a fully comprehensive system to ‘join up’ the UK’s EV networks.
The trial has been launched by Charge your Car (CYC), the North East’s Plugged in Places programme, and will ensure that all EV drivers, even those who are not CYC members, can charge their vehicles while travelling throughout the region.
EV drivers will be able to access the Pay as you Go chargers through an automated text service, similar to those used in some car parks. Drivers will be able to pull into a bay, text the number and be charged accordingly before charging their vehicle. A number of the North East’s most frequently used standard and quick charging posts are being used in the trial which will run until April.
Charge your Car project manager Josey Wardle says that by testing the new Pay as you Go technology, the next stage in EV charging will move one step closer: “Although Plugged in Places has come a long way since it launched two years ago, with 300 EV charging posts in place throughout the North East alone, as yet there is no agreed way forward in terms of interoperability between UK schemes, making it difficult for visitors to move from one region to the next.
“By undertaking this trial, the North East is leading the way in developing an all-inclusive system, as it will help us to better understand how this technology can work. There are many logistical elements to the Pay as you Go scheme so we want to ensure that any system we put in place functions properly and has tangible benefits to the driver, the Charge your Car scheme and EV post holder.”
The trial is now underway and drivers can identify the Pay as you Go posts on the charging point map located on the website www.chargeyourcar.org.uk
The North East Charge your Car project was launched in early 2010 after North East England was named as one of the first three areas to put in place a comprehensive Electric Vehicle infrastructure and was given funding to support the installation of charging posts in car parks, on streets, at residential and commercial locations.
Grants are available for any organisation wishing to have a charging point installed on their premises. For further information on the funding available visit www.leadthecharge.org.uk
The North East Charge your Car fund of £7.8m has been funded with £2.9m from OLEV and £4.8m from regional partners. The charging network will also include residential charging points, along with the mixture of ‘intelligent’ 7KW and 3KW charge points being installed at businesses and in public car parks.
North East England is now the most connected EV region in the UK with 300 charging points in place. By 2013 the North East will have over 1,000 charging points installed.
The prime objective of the project is to ensure that drivers are never too far away from a charging post. The network will stretch from Berwick to Redcar and from South Tyneside to Hexham with a range of places in between.
A full list of the North East England charge points and access to the Charge your Car membership is available at www.chargeyourcar.org.uk
North East England is putting in place a comprehensive package for EVs which includes skills development, supply chains, R&D and manufacturing. Vehicle trials are currently taking place and charging points and testing infrastructure are being developed.
North East England is home to major manufacturers including Nissan, Sevcon, Smith Electric Vehicles, Avid Electric Vehicles and Liberty, and Nissan’s Sunderland plant is currently building an on-site battery plant to power the next generation of electric vehicles.
The plant has also secured investment to manufacture Nissan’s pioneering Nissan LEAF from March 2013 – one of only three plants worldwide.
See our Electric Car Guide