Electric cars: Sunderland geared up for the future

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SUNDERLAND’S electric vehicle charging network is something to shout about, say city bosses.

The city council is driving home the message that Wearside is geared up for the future as the Government prepares to invest £500million to persuade more drivers to switch to electric cars.

The Government will provide money between next year and 2020 for cities to achieve ‘ultra low city status’ by funding research, and an extension of the grant scheme to encourage people to make the switch to electric cars.

The plans include £32million to boost the current charging infrastructure, designed to combat the fear among motorists that they will find themselves stranded and unable to recharge their vehicle.

Sunderland has one of the UK’s best charger networks, with more than 50 charging points across the city.

Paul Muir, of Sunderland City Council’s Transportation Strategy, said: “Nissan’s Sunderland-manufactured Leaf is one of more than 20 ultra-low emission vehicles already on the road in the UK.

“Every major car manufacturer will have its own electric-powered vehicle by the end of next year.

“But when we talk to drivers, it becomes apparent that a lack of information is one of the main reasons more people aren’t swapping to electric vehicles.

“We’ve now updated our website with more user-friendly information about electric motoring and a map showing drivers where they can charge their cars across Sunderland. By making people aware that the infrastructure is in place to support them, we hope to encourage more drivers to make the change.”

Encouraging greater use of low emission vehicles is part of Sunderland’s strategy to become the UK’s national hub for the low carbon economy.