9.2.2012 North East trial pay-as-you-charge scheme
Charge your Car (CYC), the North East's Plugged-in-Places programme, has launched a scheme that will allow all electric vehicle drivers, even those who are not CYC members, to charge their vehicles while travelling throughout the region.
Now underway, this is the first Pay-as-you-Go electric vehicle charging scheme to go live in the UK, and will allow electric car owners to access charge points through an automated text service, similar to those used in some car parks.
Drivers will be able to pull into a bay, text the number and be charged accordingly before charging their vehicle. A number of the North East's most frequently used standard and quick charging posts are being used in the trial which will run until April.
Charge your Car project manager Josey Wardle says that by testing the new Pay-as-you-Go technology, the next stage in electric vehicle charging will move one step closer: "Although Plugged in Places has come a long way since it launched two years ago, with 300 EV charging points in place throughout the North East alone, as yet there is no agreed way forward in terms of interoperability between UK schemes, making it difficult for visitors to move from one region to the next."
"By undertaking this trial, the North East is leading the way in developing an all inclusive system, as it will help us to better understand how this technology can work. There are many logistical elements to the Pay-as-you-Go scheme so we want to ensure that any system we put in place functions properly and has tangible benefits to the driver, the Charge your Car scheme and electric vehicle post holder."
The North East Charge your Car project was launched in early 2010 after North East England was named as one of the first three areas to put in place a comprehensive Electric Vehicle infrastructure and was given funding to support the installation of charging posts in car parks, on streets, and at residential and commercial locations.
Along with London, the North East now offers one of the most advanced networks of charging points for electric vehicle drivers in the UK – with slow, fast and rapid DC options all available to the general public. If successful, this trial could be a significant step towards developing a model to allow electric vehicle drivers to more freely roam between cities whilst still having access to charging facilities that they may not have pre-registered for.
Next Green Car's Zap-Map currently shows a total of more than 1,800 charging sockets located across over 800 locations.
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