Charge points for electric cars at Norfolk fire stations

Charge points for electric cars are being installed at Norfolk fire stations

Charge points for electric cars are being installed at Norfolk fire stations - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

Drivers of electric cars in Norfolk will be able to charge them at 40 fire stations from next March.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is getting £131,595 towards the installation of the charge points for electric vehicles after successfully bidding for a share of Department for Transport funding.

New charge points for electric cars will also be installed at hospitals, stations and streets across the UK.

Dan Roper, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for community protection, said: 'The facility could be available for public use immediately as they will be able to take payment.

'We estimate there are only 22 charging points already in existence in the county, ten of which are in or around Norwich, so clearly the addition of 40 is a significant improvement to the network.

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'It demonstrates that Norfolk Fire and Rescue is at the forefront of innovation.'

Across the East of England there are currently 132 charge points for electric vehicles, but Source East aspires to have 800 publicly accessible charge points - one within 25 miles of all businesses and residents in the eastern counties.

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Mr Roper added: 'The distance a full battery will take you really depends on the car. In basic terms 50 miles would be the norm but as many electric cars are hybrid this can be much further. The advantage of an electric car with city driving is that they use very little energy when stationary in traffic.'

Transport Minister Norman Baker said more charge points would encourage more people to switch to electric.

He said: 'With hundreds of new charge points adding to the ever-expanding network of infrastructure, people will be able to recharge their cars at stations, in hospital car parks and on streets all over the country.

'With new models coming to market every month from major motor vehicle manufacturers and running costs of 2p to 3p a mile, these vehicles are an increasingly attractive option for many consumers and businesses.'

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: 'The automotive industry in the UK is a real success story. Four out of every five vehicles made here are exported and the sector supports many thousands of high-quality jobs across the country.

'We need to keep working with industry to maintain this momentum and secure its long-term success which is why we are supporting the transition to ultra low emission vehicles. As we set out in our automotive industrial strategy, there are huge opportunities for us from being a world-leader in these technologies.'

In February the government announced an extra £37m to offset the cost of installing infrastructure for recharging electric vehicles. The funding comes from the government's existing £400m commitment to increase the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles and is available until April 2015.

There are 42 fire stations in the county, and the two not getting charging points are West Walton and Outwell.

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