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Manchester gets ready to go electric

First charge points and pods arrive in the region

Written by . Published on July 6th 2011.

Manchester gets ready to go electric

MANCHESTER Electric, a new network of charge points and pod centres, will be launched across Greater Manchester this autumn

Manchester Electric Car Company (MECC) together with its partners will launch the first of 300 charge points and six larger pod centres for electric vehicles (EV).

“These charging points and pod centres are just the start. I expect to oversee a tenfold increase in the number of charging points over the next few years.”

Manchester Electric will be a new network of state-of-the-art Pod Centres where people can buy a range of electric vehicles including cars, vans, scooters and bikes.

There will also be centres where drivers can lease, hire and charge EVs, as well as being able to join an electric car club. Domestic appliances – also known as smart charging systems – that will enable drivers to charge their vehicles at home will also be available.

The Pod Centres will be in key sites including Manchester Airport, Manchester city centre, Oldham, MediaCityUK, Stockport and the Trafford Centre, with more to follow. MECC’s medium term plan is for around 25 pod centres across greater Manchester.

In addition there will be around 300 charge points across Greater Manchester where commuters can charge EVs. A fast charge point (32amp) charges a vehicle in two to three hours and a rapid charge point takes around 30 minutes.

The programme to establish the network of charging points will be delivered over a two-year period. A consortium from Greater Manchester, led by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) secured £3.6m of support through the Government funded ‘Plugged In Places’ scheme.

This has been match funded by a private consortium led by MECC. The scheme is sponsored by AGMA and the Greater Manchester Environment Commission.

Ron Stratton Chief Executive Officer of MECC, said: “Electric vehicles, from family cars to scooters or fleet vehicles, are going to transform the way we live and work. With new vehicles being released by major manufacturers, and with the cost of motoring continuing to rise, now is the time to switch over. The future is electric.

“These charging points and pod centres are just the start. I expect to oversee a tenfold increase in the number of charging points over the next few years.”

All very well and good, but the two questions that spring to mind are: will people pay the extra price of electric cars (Binnsy and Tamar took a Nissan Leaf for a spin recently and were surprised by the £35,000 price tag) and will people want to park them in the city centre..?

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Liam StanleyJuly 7th 2011.

Until electric cars can be recharged as quick as petrol tanks can be filled... and cost around the same. They won't be a 'huge' success

Calum McGJuly 7th 2011.

Disagree. You know when you'll run out of petrol and fill up in time... so you can do the very same with electricity and charge it while you sleep. (This is of course when we all fit a charge point!) Yup it will need a bit more planning, but it's hardly an impossibility. Bring it on, I say!

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