Office for Low Emission Vehicles
PROJECT: Plugged in Places North East
Challenge: To install a comprehensive charge point network throughout the whole of the North East.
What we did: Back in 2010, we successfully bid to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles to secure funding to develop an electric vehicle charging network throughout North East England. We were one of the first three regions in the UK to rise to the challenge in what was the early days of electric cars. Our team brought together over 120 partners – ranging from all twelve local authorities in the region; academic institutes; major retail parks right through to local hotels and even a cheese factory. Over the three years of the project, we successfully connected the entire region with charge points from Berwick down to Middlesbrough taking in our three major cities – Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham. Throughout the project we also had a remit to raise public awareness of electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure to increase the uptake of electric vehicles and for three years in a row we executed communications campaigns.
Our ‘Why Not Electric?’ campaign in particular really caught the public’s imagination and prompted them to get involved and take an electric test drive. The project also provided the team with a wealth of data which we still monitor today, giving us enormous insight into driving and charging behaviour.
The result: A full network of 1,163 electric vehicle charge points ranging from on-street public charge points, domestic, workplace and the UK’s very first connected network of rapid charge points.