SUNDERLAND has been awarded thousands of pounds in Government funding to install electric vehicle charging points.
Earlier this year, ministers announced that an extra £37million would be made available to offset the cost of installing the infrastructure for the green cars and vans.
Dozens of local authorities, NHS trusts and train operators were promised cash to provide charging points on their property and town and city streets.
Yesterday, Transport Minister Norman Baker announced the winning bids for the first round of funding, with Sunderland City Council receiving £17,500 this year, with a further £12,000 expected to follow in 2014.
The city’s Nissan plant has played a key role in developing the environmentally friendly cars.
The 100 per cent electric Leaf, incorporating more than 100 updates, uses advanced lithium-ion batteries manufactured in the company’s new UK battery plant next to the factory.
Elsewhere, Durham County Council has also been handed £22,500, with £45,000 to come next year.
Mr Baker said the Government was also encouraging applications for the second round of funding. The closing date for bids is October 30.
The announcement follows a pledge of £500million in Government support to drive forward the market for ultra low-emission vehicles.
“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,” said Mr Baker.
“This is brilliant news for those already using these vehicles and will give greater confidence to those who are considering making the switch to electric.”