A number of public organisations across Manchester have come together to launch a scheme aimed at increasing the number of charging bays by 200 across the region. This is the latest in a number of ongoing local authority schemes across the UK with the aim of improving the recharging network and injecting yet more confidence into the electric car market. While the exact location of the 200 charging bays has yet to be confirmed, they will be located at high use public access areas across the region.
The authorities have also announced plans to increase the number of recharging stations at various public buildings within Manchester as part of a separate leg of a plan to increase electric car usage in the region. There are now high hopes that by joining the dots up and down the country, local authorities can come together to create a viable and a safe recharging network.
Administration of the scheme
Known as the GMEV, this scheme will be operated by a company called Charge Your Car, which will look after the management of payment systems on behalf of the local authorities. Transport for Greater Manchester is effectively in charge of this particular operation, bringing together an array of 10 councils in the region.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "In a move which has grabbed the limelight from London, the City of York Council has today announced plans for a pay-as-you-go electric car charging network within the city. There are already 12 such free charging points dotted around the area but this new network will take in a variety of public access areas."
It is envisaged that charging costs will be no more than six pounds for a full charge, which could take between 3 to 4 hours and effectively give electric car drivers up to 100 miles in journey capacity. The new state-of-the-art charging stations will be up to 3 times faster than charging a vehicle using a domestic appliance, which has always been a bugbear of motorists in the UK.
The cost of the GMEV scheme
The scheme has already been allocated £1.7 million in funding from the office for low emission vehicles together with an additional £1 million from the various public authorities involved. The website will go live from July 2013 allowing those looking to use the charging stations to register their interest. Those who register will receive an access card through the post, although there is also the ability to pay-as-you-go by using either a mobile phone or a landline.
Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of TfGM Committee, said: "The GMEV scheme builds on the great work that’s already under way in Greater Manchester to reduce the impact of transport on our carbon emissions." adding that, "The GMEV scheme is the latest part of that journey and a fantastic and innovative addition to what Greater Manchester has to offer.”
Looking to the future
While the announcement of one or two of these particular types of schemes has historically not registered with the public, there is certainly a cumulative impact the more local authorities that become involved. The idea is to effectively interlink all of the major towns and cities across the UK giving electric car drivers the confidence that recharging facilities are available and they are reliable.
Slowly but surely, progress is being made in the UK electric car industry; government and local industry plans are coming together and we are starting to see greater momentum. Which major UK city will be next to announce a revamp of its recharging station network?