First step to an electric future is here

Worried about the 100 miles range of electric cars? Do you live in an area with very few chargers? All this is about to change after a private company promised to install 4,000 charging points across the UK.

While some areas are currently lacking in electric recharge points – Wales has only three! – the new scheme from Chargemaster will ensure several areas will benefit from the technology.

This means those who wish to take advantage of the government’s plug-in car grant will have more options than ever to charge their car in various places.

It is also good news for hybrid car owners who wish to give the battery element of the vehicle’s powertrain a top up, and drivers of the new Vauxhall Ampera, which uses a small petrol engine to charge a battery, will also find the car even more convenient when the chargers are in place.

This all sounds very good, and it will complement the government’s Plugged In Places scheme to install chargers in selected areas, but there is a further benefit from the new scheme.

All 4,000 new chargers will feature a fast charging adaptor and also a super-fast charger designed for the next generation of electric cars.

This, of course, means the likes of the Renault Fluence, which could be charged in as little as an hour from the new network set to criss-cross the country by the end of 2012.

It isn’t just us that think the move could be the first step towards a mass take up of electric technology.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: "Today’s announcement by Chargemaster is exactly the kind of private sector led initiative that we need to drive the development of our national network of recharging infrastructure"

Under the new scheme, 100 towns and cities will receive 40 electric charging bays. The first set of towns to gain the technology will include Basingstoke, Bristol, Cardiff, Bournemouth, Cheltenham, Crawley, Derby, Eastbourne, Exeter, Gloucester, Guildford, High Wycombe, Maidenhead, Maidstone, Newbury, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Reading, Rochester, Slough, Staines Southend-on-Sea, St. Albans, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon, Taunton, Telford, Warwick and Wokingham.

The rest will soon follow, reducing so-called range anxiety across the country and encouraging people to try out the likes of the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero city cars, or the next generation of Renault electric vehicles.

Even better, the charging points will even be ready for the introduction of an electric Ford Focus, and what better car to ease owners into electric mobility than the best-selling family car in 2011?