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ETI Launches £11M Nationwide Plug-in Vehicle Plan to Accelerate Market Growth in UK

The UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) launched a Joined-Cities Plan designed to make it easier for drivers to charge plug-in vehicles in a number of major UK cities by deploying a cost-effective and compatible network of recharging points. (Earlier post.)

The £11-million (US$18-million) plan has been created to help support the roll-out of a single national network that will ultimately enable plug-in vehicles to be easily used and recharged anywhere, including the home.

In developing the Plan, the ETI, whose aim is to accelerate the deployment of affordable and secure low carbon energy technologies, is initially working with Birmingham, Coventry, Glasgow, London, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Oxford and Sunderland.

The Plan will result in a series of recommendations and help create an environment where motorists using plug-in vehicles can easily locate and use charging points from different providers across the UK.

To enable the Joined-Cities Plan, the ETI has formed an intelligent architecture advisory group. This brings together global system integrators and major vehicle recharging network providers. Currently, this group includes IBM, Siemens, Elektromotive, Coulomb Technologies and 365 Energy.

The members provide knowledge and ‘reach’ across the majority of the major global projects associated with plug-in vehicles, and will enable the group to take a world-leading role.

The Joined-Cities Plan and the intelligent architecture group are key features of the ETI’s Plug-in Vehicle Economics and Infrastructure project announced on 16 July. The project will include an extensive evaluation of consumers’ attitudes towards plug-in vehicles and the supporting infrastructure, which will enable the ETI to determine cost effective infrastructure deployment and driver incentive strategies that will help to develop a self sustaining mass market.

The Plan complements the Plugged In Places Infrastructure Framework, to be taken forward by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, and will build on the Technology Strategy Board’s Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator program.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is a UK-based company formed from global industries and the UK Government. The ETI brings together projects and partnerships that create affordable, reliable, clean energy for heat, power and transport.

The ETI’s six private members are BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell. The UK Government has committed to match support for four further Members. The ETI’s public funds are received from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills through the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). These organizations, together with the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Transport (DfT), are engaged directly in the ETI’s strategy and program development.



It would be practical to equip all city parking meters with a standardized 220 VAC outlet to charge PHEVs/BEVs while parked. The energy cost could easily be added to the parking cost and both paid with existing credit/debit cards.

Upgrading the existing parking meters could be part of the economic recovery program. It could create thousands of new jobs + interesting business opportunities for the next 5 to 10 years and maintenance jobs there after for ICE garage staffs out of a job.

Shopping centers + private + public parking lots could also be equipped with smart e-meters. The installation + operation cost could be recovered quickly enough. It could be an added attraction for cinemas, restaurants, coffee, or quick food places etc.

Many PHEV/BEV owners would not realy need home charging systems if enough quick and regular charging spots are available.


It would be practical to equip all city parking meters with a standardized 220 VAC outlet to charge PHEVs/BEVs while parked. The energy cost could easily be added to the parking cost and both paid with existing credit/debit cards.

Sometimes you just have to state the duh-obvious.



The main idea was to remove the obligation to have a home charging station, specially for city dwellers without or with too difficult to equip garages.

Most city PHEV/BEV owners will park their e-cars somewhere many hours a day while at work or shopping or eating and/or overnight on the streets.

Over 50% may not be able to install an affordable home charging station. That would limit PHEV/BEV ownership.

Basically, it is also to create new business opportunities + many new jobs during + after the current economic downturn. Many million slow and quick charge stations will be required to progressively replace existing/remaining gas stations.

Could existing fuel refining plants be converted into clean power generating plants? Most of them are located close to heavily populated areas and their large polluted lots could be re-used for power plants.


I know Harvey I know. [I'm sure I've posted a similar idea to this forum before.] What I was trying to say was; it's obvious we SHOULD equip parking meters to charge PHEVs/BEVs while parked. But "sometimes you just have to state the duh-obvious" because the powers-that-be often just make things overly complex and forget the easy ideas.

For some reason people never get me when I'm being flippant.


It's a Canadian thing.

That is a good idea to install plugs on meters but I think it will be more complicated than it might seem, with winter road salt spraying everywhere and pedestrians tripping over electrical cables and suing. One electrocution is too many but GFCI's should avoid this. None of these issues are dealbreakers but it needs some serious thought.


"pedestrians tripping over electrical cables and suing"

For that to happen they'd have to be walking between the car and the meter. Why would they be trying to squeeze through a 18" space when they have the whole rest of the sidewalk to use?

It seems to me if they tried to sue they'd be counter sued for jaywalking or getting too close to somebody else's car.

Henry Gibson

Ok folks, a standard plug but a complicated outlet that looks like a regular outlet but the car when it is plugged in negotiates for power if it needs to, and every month or so the car reports the power used at special outlets and the owner is billed or his account is debited. Outlets at the owners residence could be ordinary or smart for the convenience of other users. Most outlets communicate to the billing system via the cars so that there is no need for complicated mechanisms or communications. The micro-controller in the outlet does not turn on the power unless a valid system is there to receive it. But plug in hybrids should eliminate much of the need for public charging where it is expensive to provide. Range extenders can have double the efficiency or more of regular car engines and can be as high as fuel cells. Initially no billing is needed; street illumination will take much more power for many years. ..HG..

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