Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nissan Future Looking Rosier; Government Pledges Electric Cars Cash

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nissan Future Looking Rosier; Government Pledges Electric Cars Cash

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Proctor? 0191 201 6106 ?

THE long-term future of Nissan car plant's electric car line has been given a boost as the Government pledged a PS37m investment in charging points across the country.

In an announcement made at Gateshead College's Skills Academy for Manufacturing and Innovation at the Washington factory site, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced homeowners will be eligible for a 75% subsidised grant to install power plugs at their home.

An PS11m fund will also be made available to local authorities in England to install on-street charging for residents and up to PS9m for the installation of charge points at railway stations.

The Government hopes the renewed infrastructure will see more electric vehicles on the roads, including Nissan's Leaf model which is due to go into production later this month.

The Washington factory's vice-president of manufacturing John Martin, said new subsidies for plug-in points were extremely welcome.

"It's going to go a long way to address range anxiety - the fear consumers have of how far they can travel between charges," he said.

"This is going to definitely help. We hope to see a rise in sales, of course. We're going to be very strict on matching production to demand. At the end of the day it's new technology."

Mr McLoughlin, after meeting representatives from local authorities and members of earlier charge point schemes across the North East, said: "I think what we've done is a move in the right direction.

"It's signaling our support to the industry, and what we've found is a motor industry that's been very successful in the UK and is ready to meet the challenges we've set out for it.

"We've seen huge investment by the motor companies. You wouldn't see the likes of Nissan, Toyota, Honda investing to the degree they are in electric vehicles if they also didn't feel it was the future. …

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