Electric Dreams For Motorists

7 September 2011, 15:26 | Updated: 7 September 2011, 15:33

The most ambitious programme ever has begun to turn the region into the research hub for not only electric vehicles, but zero-carbon emission living.

The most ambitious programme ever has begun to turn the region into the research hub for not only electric vehicles, but zero-carbon emission living.

Launched today, it will build on the new charging points in places like Milton Keynes, Watford, Welywn and Hemel - with 200 families moving into new build homes in the region, and ALL given an electric car.

The plan has been unveiled at this year’s Low Carbon Vehicle event at the Rockingham Race Circuit in Corby and is demonstrating the region's expertise and potential as a world leader in the low carbon vehicle sector.

Hosted by the UK’s Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies (Cenex), the fourth annual event is being held for the first time this year at Rockingham. 

Tim Bagshaw, Head of Investment from Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), the newly established body set up to lead and provide direction for future growth and prosperity, says: "Much of the expertise on show is helping foster another cluster of specialist skills in the county – that of low carbon engineering. We are currently undertaking some research into businesses in this sector to best understand and support their needs for growth and success."

Electric Corby has also being launched at the event - with Corby Borough Council, CENEX and Bela Partnership which is now aiming to attract world leaders in clean technology into the whole region - by becoming the UK’s practical R&D centre for energy efficient living and low carbon vehicles. Aiming to generate new employment opportunities with low carbon, low energy focus to match the high levels of population growth in the area, Electric Corby will help the town become one of the most environmentally and economically sustainable areas in the UK.

Nick Bolton, Joint Project Manager said: "We want to become the UK’s first real-world research and development centre for sustainable living and travel. We are offering companies the opportunity to test new sustainable transport initiatives. In particular, as this region grows in population, it offers an ideal platform to develop innovative technologies for energy management and smart grid solutions."

Locallly in Corby Mr Bolton said they were encouraging the take up of electric vehicles is a key part of Electric Corby, with new infrastructure being implemented at new home developments like Prior’s Hall Park, and public sites throughout the town. As this infrastructure encourages more people to take up sustainable approaches to living and transportation, it is important we also develop the solutions to managing the consequential energy impacts on the grid. By leading the way the (M1 corridor) is  set to attract international interest as a place to invest for businesses with a focus on clean technology.