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Partnership will promote North East England as EV hub

21 June, 2012

Four UK organisations have formed a partnership to promote North East England as an international centre for zero-carbon-emission vehicles (ZEVs). They aim to boost the number of EV technologies that are developed and trialled in the region, to expand the number of jobs in the sector, and to become a leader in EV and fuel-efficient driver training.

Under the umbrella of the Zero Carbon Vehicle Centre of Excellence programme, the four organisations – the EV advocate Zero Carbon Futures, Gateshead College, the transport consultant TRL and the sustainability expert tadea – will form working teams with the aim of making “significant” investments into ZEVs, and fostering research and development into batteries, electric vehicle technologies including inductive charging systems, and hydrogen fuel cells.

The picture above shows, from left: Colin Herron, managing director of Zero Carbon Futures; Paul Copping, corporate development director at TRL; Mick Brophy, managing director for business, innovation and development at Gateshead College; and Alan Jones, tadea’s business development manager.
North East England already leads the UK`s emerging low-carbon vehicle industry. The region is home to Nissan`s Leaf facility and battery assembly plant which will commence production in March 2013, as well as other EV producers, including Smith Electric Vehicles and Avid Vehicles.

Each participating organisation will bring different strengths to the new partnership. For example, Gateshead College already administers a project that aims to install more than 1,000 EV charging points across North East England by 2013. It has also worked with Smith Electric Vehicles to create the UK’s first Electric Vehicle apprenticeship, which launched in 2010. The College’s £9.8m Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation opened in 2011 alongside a test track for low-carbon vehicles.

Zero Carbon Futures was established in 2011 to develop and sustain a low-carbon automotive and transport technology cluster in the North East of England. It has picked up on the work of the One North East regional development agency to establish the region as an international leader in this field.

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