ian lucasGateshead in North East Wales became home to the UK’s first public solar-powered EV charging station on March 15.

Ian Lucas, Business Minister in the English Parliament, switched on the station, which is located at the Gateshead Civic Centre.

The station can charge two electric vehicles, and the electricity generated can either be used to power EVs or be sold back into the grid.

The station was built with collaboration between manufacturers Romag and Tegrel, natural gas company British Gas and developer One North East.

North East England is making great investments in an electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with1,300 charging stations planned for the region, according to a story on the UK’s GreenCarWebsite.

The region is also investing 8.4 million pounds in a training center for developing, manufacturing and maintaining low carbon vehicles at Gateshead College, the GreenCarWebsite story reported.

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The Gateshead Council has moved to convert its fleet of diesel-powered vehicles to electric, recently purchasing 10 electric and four hybrid vans.

“We are acutely aware of how much we here in Gateshead need to play our part in protecting the environment in the face of climate change. We are also serious about playing a lead role in the rapidly developing North East drive for electric vehicle infrastructure such as charging stations,” said leader of the Gateshead Council Mick Henry in a story on the Gateshead Council website.

North East Wales has been designated one of the UK’s six Low Carbon Economic Areas, focusing on ultra-low carbon vehicles.

“We want Gateshead to be at the very forefront of a new low carbon future for Britain,” said Henry.

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