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Bedfordshire set for electric vehicle revolution

As part of the government’s “Plugged in Places” initiative, a consortium of more than 50 businesses and local authorities from across the region have been told that its proposed £5.4 million infrastructure project EValu8 has been shortlisted by the government’s Office of Low Emission Vehicles.

Industry leaders and representatives from local government have met to discuss the next steps for the ground-breaking project, with the aim of submitting a full business case to government by the end of October. 
The eight key clusters of Bedford, Luton, Hertfordshire, Cambridge, Ipswich, Norwich, Peterborough, and Thames Gateway South Essex, together with London Stansted Airport, have all been earmarked as prime locations for plug-in points, supported by a wider charging network.
A final decision is expected from government by December and if all goes to plan, installation could be under way as soon as spring 2011. 
This would ensure that the East of England forms a key part of the UK’s charging network, linking in with the adjacent charging points already being installed in London and Milton Keynes.
EEDA chief executive Deborah Cadman said: “The transition to a low-carbon economy is a necessity, not a choice. The East of England is set to lead the way in providing the infrastructure for local people and businesses to adopt electric vehicles.” 
It is anticipated that the East of England’s Plugged in Places project will set the wheels in motion for an electric vehicle revolution, providing the infrastructure that local people and businesses need to move towards the widespread use of electric vehicles.
It could also act as a catalyst for the development of new technologies, services and industries.
The region’s MEP Vicky Ford said: “ The East of England often leads the world in researching and developing new ways to meet the energy challenges of the future.  Infrastructure is needed for these new technologies to get out of our laboratories and become a reality on our roads. 
“We now have the opportunity to provide this infrastructure, using it to test ideas developed here and see them adopted world wide.”

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