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New EV charging network by 2012

  • Privately funded network
  • To cover 100 UK towns and cities
  • More than 4000 charging points planned
Words By Pete Barden

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A new electric-vehicle charging network is to be built across 100 UK towns and cities, it's been revealed.

The privately funded network, called Polar, will go live in 2012 and comprise 4000 charging points.

Where and when
More than half of the points are expected to go live within the next nine months, according to the scheme's provider, Chargemaster plc. The first towns and cities to get coverage will include: Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Crawley, Derby, Eastbourne, Exeter, Gloucester, Guildford, High Wycombe, Maidenhead, Maidstone, Newbury, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Reading, Rochester, Slough, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Staines, St Albans , Swansea, Swindon, Taunton, Telford, Warwick and Wokingham.

How much?
Access to the Polar charging network will be through a monthly membership subscription yet to be revealed and a payment of 90p each time a charging unit is used. This provides power for up to 100 miles of electric car driving.

All locations will include fast-charge units, which will eventually allow some vehicles to be fully charged in about one hour.

Transport secretary Philip Hammond said: 'Today's announcement is exactly the kind of private sector-led initiative that we need to drive the development of our national recharging infrastructure.'