England

Charging points for cars backed in East of England

About 600 charging points for electric cars could be installed in the East of England after the government short-listed the £5.6m scheme.

The scheme would install plug-in charge points in Bedford, Cambridge, Ipswich, Norwich, Peterborough, Luton and Hertfordshire, and South Essex.

The project has been put together by more than 50 businesses and local authorities from across the East.

The scheme aims to help boost the use of electric vehicles.

A final decision on which Plugged-in Places schemes to back is expected from government in December, and if all goes to plan, installation could start in spring 2011.

'Battery life concern'

Deborah Cadman OBE, chief executive of East of England Development Agency (EEDA), said: "The East of England is set to lead the way in providing the infrastructure for local people and businesses to adopt electric vehicles."

An EEDA spokesman said: "One of the main barriers to people buying electric vehicles has been concerns over range and battery life.

"The East of England's Plugged-in Places proposal has been designed specifically to ensure that local people across the South and East of England are within striking distance of the next plug-in point."

Marco Cereste, leader of Peterborough City Council - which is part of the consortium, welcomed the latest news.

He said: "Peterborough is forecast to grow by a third in the next 15 years.

"It is only by embracing new technology and reducing the impact of transport that we can grow in a sustainable way."

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