Thanks to £30 million of Government funding, the UK is about to witness thousands more charging points for electric and plug-in hybrid cars. The money is being invested as part of a new 'Plugged-In Places' initiative with British companies being encouraged to get behind the scheme.
Says Business Minister Pat McFadden: "The move to lower carbon forms of transport is a turning point for the automotive industry, opening up new opportunities for existing UK automotive companies and with the potential to create new jobs and new industries. I urge British companies to get involved and seize these new opportunities for growth and jobs."
Sainsbury's plans to be at the forefront of the electric car revolution. The supermarket chain recently announced that nine stores (in Beckton, Camden, Chiswick, Cromwell Road, East Dulwich, Greenwich Peninsula, Islington, North Cheam and Sydenham) now have charging points for electric vehicles with a further two (in Wandsworth and Whitechapel) opening very soon. This will ensure that London's electric drivers will only ever be a few short miles from the nearest charging point.
Charging will be free to Sainsbury's customers, probably requiring users to validate tokens at the checkout tills. Sainsbury's Neil Sachdev said: "This will turn London into an electric vehicle superhighway, giving electric car drivers greater freedom. Sainsbury's is already one of the country's largest users of these vehicles and we hope that this initiative will encourage more of our customers to follow our lead."
Electric vehicles create less noise and help keep the city's air clean. More of these cars will appear on our streets as the technology improves, meaning convenient recharge points will become increasingly important. In ten years time, we envisage that recharge points will be available at all of our stores in large cities."
London Mayor Boris Johnson welcomed the move, hoping that it will help "turn London into the electric vehicle capital of Europe. I warmly welcome the arrival of Sainsbury's network of charge points which will put half of all London's population within three miles of a charge point."
All we need now is a fleet or two of cleaner energy delivery vans and we'll really be rolling!
By Paul Ridden.