Thursday, 28 July 2011

Brighton and Hove's electric vehicles project wins top PRISM award

Electric car and charge point (pic - Elektromotive)
 28 July 2011. Brighton & Hove City Council has won a national award for its work to promote the use of electric vehicles - CIVINET’s PRISM Award for the most "outstanding, ambitious and innovative scheme in the field of sustainable urban mobility in the UK and Ireland". 

A council spokesperson said: "Electric vehicles produce zero emissions on the road, a huge advantage over conventionally powered vehicles in terms of air quality."

Three charge locations already running
The council’s electric vehicle charging point scheme began in February 2010 and was the first project of its scale in the UK outside London. Four on-street electric vehicle charging points were installed at Bartholomew’s in central Brighton and Ditchling Road opposite The Level. A further four have been recently installed, two at Withdean Stadium which will be up and running at the end of the week and two at Madeira Drive. The council is working with energy supply companies to have the Madeira Drive points running by autumn.

The charging points were installed by Elektromotive Ltd, who released survey results in June saying two thirds of motorists would be more likely to buy an electric vehicle (EV) if charging posts were readily available at roadsides and in car parks across the UK.

A registration scheme for UK residents has been set up by the council and Elektromotive. A trial period is underway offering incentives to encourage drivers to switch to electric vehicles, including free registration, parking and electricity whilst vehicles are recharging.

Brighton & Hove is the only city in the country to have gained funding for such a project from the EU’s CIVITAS Archimedes Project; and is working with five other cities in Europe to share best practice, experience and skills.

The scheme was set up during the Conservative administration of the City council, and has cross party support.

At a national level, 2011 was billed as a "breakthrough year" for electric cars when the government launched a £5,000 grant for sales of the cars. But at the end of June, the promised vision of a network of electric highways wired up for a fleet of battery-powered cars became the latest government pledge to fall victim to spending cuts. The Department for Transport said it was, however, still committed to spending £30m to build 8,500 charge points in eight "Plugged in Places" pilot areas in London, Milton Keynes. the North-East of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Greater Manchester, the Midlands and the East of England.

Brighton & Hove City Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for transport and the public realm, Councillor Ian Davey, said: “Our vision is to make Brighton & Hove the UK’s greenest city, and we are committed to achieving a clean and energy-efficient transport system.

“We’re working with other cities and countries to share expertise and best practice. It’s exciting to think that what we do here will influence future transport policy, not only in the UK but also in Europe.”

For further information about using electric vehicles and the city’s charging points visit or phone 01273 292455 / 290367.

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