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Drive to make Norwich one of the first electric car cities

PUBLISHED: 06:30 11 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:20 02 July 2010

Business leaders are being urged to sign up for a new partnership to drive Norwich towards becoming one of the first electric car cities in the country.

Business leaders are being urged to sign up for a new partnership to drive Norwich towards becoming one of the first electric car cities in the country.

Tara Greaves

Business leaders are being urged to sign up for a new partnership to drive Norwich towards becoming one of the first electric car cities in the country.

Business leaders are being urged to sign up for a new partnership to drive Norwich towards becoming one of the first electric car cities in the country.

The government has given several incentives to encourage the growth of the electric vehicle market, including exempting electric cars from company car tax for five years from April this year.

Now representatives from Norwich City Council and the Low Carbon Innovation Centre (LCIC) at the University of East Anglia are discussing putting a partnership together aimed at tapping into some of the funding available to get the project off the ground.

Amy Lyall, spokesman for the council, said: “We are in initial discussions with the Low Carbon Innovation Centre about the possible provision of electric vehicles in Norwich. We are currently working with them to look at feasibility and the best way to take the idea forward.”

Research conducted on behalf of the LCIC, which is also home to the CRed carbon reduction programme, has shown that Norwich is ideally placed to become an electric car city, with a park and ride network already in place, regular commuters and the university, which already has a biomass generator that could also be used for charging cars.

Marcus Armes, from LCIC, said: “Representatives from the LCIC have had meetings with the city council and hope they will take the lead in putting together a partnership of local businesses and organisations to acquire electric vehicles for their fleets.”

The research also showed that Norwich's fleet would provide good scope for electric vehicles, with many travelling between 50 and 80 miles per day, which is well within current specifications.

Greg Parton, head of group procurement for Archant Regional, which publishes the Evening News, said: “As a company with a large fleet, we are very keen on the idea of electric vehicles and have been looking into the issue for several years - not only as a way of cutting our carbon emissions but also for the financial benefits.

“I look forward to working with the partnership to push the electric car initiative forward.”

If anyone is interested in the scheme contact Marcus Armes on marcus.armes@uea.ac.uk.

Have you got an electric vehicle? Call Tara Greaves on 01603 772446 or email tara.greaves@archant.co.uk.

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