Government launch second phase of scheme
The Government has launched the second phase of its Plugged in Places scheme which has so far funded two thousand eight hundred of the approximate eight thousand charging points for battery powered cars in the UK. New charging points for electric vehicles installed across the country should boost the market for zero emission cars.
The Government turned its attention to the electric car industry some time ago but it is proving to be a slow starter. At the beginning of last year less than one thousand pure electric cars were sold. A survey at the time revealed the vast gap between electric car capabilities today and what consumers want before considering buying an electric car showed that potential buyers expect electric cars to go further, on shorter charge times, for a cheaper buying price than today. Electric car manufacturers will be disappointed at the survey which was the largest survey of its kind gathering opinions from thirteen thousand people in seventeen countries. In the UK only 11% said they would consider buying an electric car today. Today there are only three thousand electric cars on the road, not enough charging points could put prospective buyers off so knowing that there will be charging points across the country could boost sales.
Would-be EV buyers have ‘range anxiety’
Industry experts believe new European models could see the number double each year from now on and they predict that prices will fall. In the North East of England, a pilot area for EV infrastructure, researchers believe plug in points on the streets are essential for persuading motorists to switch to batteries from petrol and diesel engines. Dr Yvonne Huebner from Newcastle University says despite Government figures showing 93% of car journeys are twenty five miles or less, many would-be EV buyers have what she calls range anxiety. She explained “lots of people still think there is no charging infrastructure around and that prevents them from buying electric cars. So we need public infrastructure to show people that there are lots of places they could plug in if they needed to." We all know the feeling when you are nearly out of fuel and there is no fuel station in sight anxiety levels do increase! But at least we know that when we get to the fuel station the fuel is there so when the electric points are next to the fuel pumps perhaps the anxiety will gradually at least if you know the electric point is next to the fuel pump.
The new Government funding was announced at Gateshead College next to Nissan's Sunderland factory which will soon be making 50,000 Nissan Leaf plug-in cars and 60,000 EV batteries every year.