Town’s electric car bid still going strong

Efforts to encourage more electric cars in Ipswich town will not run out of juice despite the agency leading the charge being scrapped, it was revealed today.

The ill-fated East of England Development Agency (EEDA) has been spearheading a bid for a slice of the government’s �30million Plugged-In Places funding to ensure the region is at the “forefront of the low-carbon revolution”.

But despite the organisation’s imminent demise, those attending a meeting at the University of Hertfordshire tomorrow will learn that the bid will continue to drive forward – with a full business case likely to be submitted by September.

Deborah Cadman, EEDA chief executive, said: “This (the scrapping of EEDA) will have no bearing on delivering the East of England bid, which was deliberately established as a partnership of private sector organisations.

“The bid to become a Plugged-In Places was submitted to the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) on June 1, together with more than 50 letters of support from private and public organisations.

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“OLEV has now given applicants the green light to prepare a full business case by September 30, subject to a final decision on short listing in the next few weeks.”

Plugged-In Places, launched in November last year, aims to establish a critical infrastructure to support the early market for electric cars.

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Initially, the Department for Transport is offering to match private investment to pay for charging points for electric or hybrid vehicles around the town and possibly further afield.

Eventually, it is hoped the private sector, such as electricty suppliers, will take the lead.

In February this year, London, the North East region and Milton Keynes were selected to be the lead places for electric vehicle infrastructure.

In total, their plans will result in over 2,500 charge points in the first year and more than 11,000 in the next three years at a variety of places including car parks, transport hubs and workplaces.

The second round of Plugged-In Places funding remains open, with interested consortia required to submit bids by September 30.

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