Plan for electric car charge points

Regional development agency One North East and car manufacturer Nissan have joined forces to install hundreds ofÊcharging points for electric vehicles in the North East by 2011.

In a bid to popularise the zero-emission mobility concept in the region, the agency will install as many as 619 publicly available charging points by January 2011 - which will support both 3kW and 7kW charges including twelve 50kW 'rapid-charging' stations.

The charging points will offer free electricity until March 31, 2012 or until an itemised billing system becomes available, it was announced.

Two charging points have already been opened for public use within One North East's head office car park at Newburn Riverside in Newcastle.

Nissan, a Sunderland-based car firm, will work in partnership with One North East to supply Nissan LEAF electric vehicles to the region in early 2011 and to place priority on requests for electric vehicles in the UK from North East England.

Company commitments on incentives for drivers and education initiatives -  that will be introduced throughout 2010 and 2011 - have also been incorporated in the contract.

Margaret Fay, chairman of One North East, said: "Today marks a significant step forward in our ambitions to become a leading global location for ultra low carbon vehicles."

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