An agreement between Regional Development Agency One North East and car manufacturer Nissan Motor Co. has outlined plans for the roll-out of electric vehicles and infrastructure in North East England.
Under the agreement, One North East will install at least 619 publicly available, ‘future-proof’ charging points by January 1, 2011.
Electricity at the charging points will be provided free of charge until March 31, 2012, or until an itemised billing system becomes available.
Nissan has agreed to 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.
Designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery-powered chassis, the LEAF is a medium-size hatchback that comfortably seats five adults and has a range of more than 160km (100 miles).
Margaret Fay, Chairman of One North East, and Trevor Mann, Nissan’s Senior Vice President for Manufacturing in Europe, formally signed the historic agreement at Nissan’s Sunderland car factory, which will also produce batteries for electric vehicles in the future.
One North East look to introduce preferential access for electic cars to identified road lanes and city areas. The Agency is also working with developers to have charging points installed in newly constructed buildings which feature parking spaces.
One North East Chairman Margaret Fay said: “The commitments we are making will show industry and consumers alike that North East England is serious about electric vehicles. We look forward to stimulating and shaping this emerging industry which will create new jobs for our region and help to reduce CO2 emissions.”