29 July 2010, 16:16
A regional group for the East has been given the go ahead to apply for funding for up to 600 charging points for electric cars at 9 key locations in the area - including Luton and Bedford.
The aim now is to submit a full business case to government by the end of October to see if funding for the project will be granted.
The eight key clusters of Ipswich, Bedford, Cambridge, Norwich, Peterborough, Luton and Hertfordshire, and Thames Gateway South Essex, together with London Stansted Airport, have all been ear-marked 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 underway as soon as spring 2011.
Deborah Cadman OBE, chief executive of EEDA, said: "The transition to a low carbon economy is a necessity, not a choice. With today's announcement, the East of England is set to lead the way in providing the infrastructure for local people and businesses to adopt electric vehicles."
One of the main barriers to people buying electric vehicles has been concerns over range and battery life.
The East of England's "Plugged in Places" proposal has been designed specifically to ensure that people across our region are within striking distance of the next plug-in point.
Heart's reporter Louise Parry in one of the cars:
Top 5 facts about electric vehicles
By 2014, there will be over 30 makes and models of electric vehicles in the UK - including family and passenger cars, sports cars, 4x4 off road vehicles, motor bikes and commercial vehicles
An electric Citroën Berlingo has just travelled 13,565 km from Shanghai to Paris, including completing 430 km between charges, through the Gobi Desert region
Many vehicle manufacturers have already developed download "tunes" for electric vehicles. Customers can already choose from a wide range which includes the "Star Wars" theme tune, to personalise your vehicle and let people know you are coming
Website 'EV World', set up by electric vehicle enthusiasts, has more than 10,000 visitors a day from countries across the world
You will be able to remotely programme your electric vehicle to heat, cool and charge through your smart phone, giving you control even from a distance.