Friday, 9 July 2010

Green Cars Given Boost

By Ben Aulakh

Eco-friendly motorists in the West Midlands are being given the chance to travel around the region, without polluting the environment.

A new network of easy-access car charging points has been installed in Birmingham and Coventry as part of a trial of ultra low-carbon vehicles.

They have been installed by energy firm E.ON on behalf of the CABLED project, a trial of 110 vehicles being tested by ‘real world’ users over the next 12 months.

Charles Bradshaw-Smith, Head of Innovation at E.ON said, “Electric cars are perfect for commutes to work and for shopping trips to town – and we’re proud to help make eco-driving even easier by being the energy behind these charging points.

“Today’s event shows that electric vehicles are a genuine alternative to petrol and diesel cars – I speak as someone who has driven 7,000 commuting miles in my electric vehicle.”

The scheme was officially launched with a convoy of eco-cars making the trip from Coventry to Birmingham.

A number of electric vehicles fromMitsubishi, Tata and Modec will be making the 20 mile journey between two sets of charging points installed in convenient city centre streets; from Margaret Street in Birmingham to Croft Road, Coventry.

Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “As a city with a rich motoring heritage, our challenge for the future is to be at the forefront of low-carbon vehicle technology.

The development of a charging point network for the CABLED initiative is a vital step towards this goal.”

Last year the council drew up the Birmingham Declaration on Climate Change in which they committed to only buy electric or LPG vehicles by 2015.

Cllr Linda Bigham, cabinet member for City Development at Coventry City Council, said: “This is a big step forward in the initiative to reduce harmful carbon emissions and encourage people and businesses to use electric vehicles.

“There are seven charging points in Coventry which are now ready to use with more planned in the future for domestic vehicles.”

Coventry City Council has purchased 45 electric vehicles as part of an ongoing programme to replace its fleet vehicles.

These will be in use from September, and more are planned in the years ahead; it’s expected these vehicles will produce fuel savings of almost 20 per cent, whilst also reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent.”

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