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Hackney charge point for low-emission cars unveiled

The TfL and Hackney borough council-funded charge station is capable of boosting a car’s power from 30% to 80% within 30 minutes, writes Michael Holder

The Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said the borough was on the “right track towards emissions reductionâ€? as he unveiled a new electric vehicle charge station at Holborn Studios yesterday (February 21).

The charge point is capable of fully charging electric plug-in vehicles in around four hours or overnight. On a fast charge, it is also capable of boosting a car’s power from 30% to 80% in 30 minutes.

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe (L) and Holborn Studios' founder Vince McCartney unveil the new charge point

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe (L) and Holborn Studios’ founder Vince McCartney unveil the new charge point

Electric vehicles are seen as an important tool for improving air quality as they are powered by electricity rather than petrol or diesel, which produce emissions that adversely impact on human health.

Cheshire-based energy technology developer ABB manufactured and installed the 20KW Terra Smart Connect DC station at the photography and film studios, which marks the company’s first charge point in London.

A Transport for London (TfL) grant provided half of the money for the charge point, while the rest was funded by Hackney borough council and Holborn Studios founder Vince McCartney, who was also in attendance at the launch.

The all-weather fast charger includes a full-colour eight-inch touch screen and PIN code authorisation. A new connection to the electricity grid is not required to install the charge points as they use a 3-phase, 32 A input.

The station forms part of the capital’s Source London network of 929 electric vehicle chargers, which is set for a phased increase to 1,300 under plans launched by the Mayor Boris Johnson in May 2011. Drivers must sign up for a membership with Source London to use the pay-as-you-go charge points.

The charge point comes as part of the Department for Transport’s £400 million commitment in 2010 to increase the uptake of low-emission vehicles, through which consumers can apply for grants of 25% up to £5,000 towards the cost of an electric vehicle.

Unveiling the charge point, Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said: “I pledged in 2010 to work with businesses and Transport for London to reduce emissions, and this includes installing more charging points for electric cars. 15% commute by bike to work in Hackney, which I believe is more than other London boroughs, so we are on the right track towards emissions reduction.â€?

‘leap of faith’

Holborn Studios founder, Vince McCartney, said: “I have one of these cars, but I couldn’t come here today in it because there are no maps of the UK charging network. These things should be all over the place – it only takes around 30 minutes to charge your car on it.â€?

The ABB charge point at Holborn Studios in Hackney

The ABB charge point at Holborn Studios in Hackney

Mr McCartney said the overall cost of installing the charge point was between £15,000-£20,000.

Martin Hale, head of marketing and sales at ABB, said: “The Terra SC is perfectly suited for destinations where you typically spend around an hour such as offices, restaurants, health clubs, entertainment venues, shops and car parks.â€?

He added: “I think the government is doing well in supporting these kinds of initiatives, but overall the number of charging points in the UK is very disappointing compared to the rest of the world. We’re a nation of petrolheads and it’s a great leap of faith for us to use electric vehicles more widely.â€?

Mr Hale said ABB had installed around 60 charge points in Norway, nine in Northern Ireland and nationwide networks in Estonia, The Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium. He also said the firm had installed several around the UK such as in Nottinghamshire, Coventry and Glasgow.

The unveiling follows the Department for Transport’s announcement (February 20) of £37 million funding to benefit plug-in vehicles and charge points throughout the UK (see airqualitynews.com story).

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