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Hope for a roaring trade in electricity; Rapid charger should help green move.

Byline: Michael Brown

DRIVERS have long been encouraged to "put a tiger in their tank". But now a Northumberland holiday park is hoping passing motorists and visitors will instead let a tiger help them fill their tank - with electricity.

The Haven holidays-owned Haggerston Castle, near Berwick, have teamed up with One North East to install a new "rapid charger" which is capable of refuelling one of the new breed of electric cars in only 20 minutes. That could open the door for eco-conscious tourists to make the 80-mile journey from Edinburgh to Newcastle, or encourage more visitors to the region's tourist attractions.

And to promote the initiative, the park is offering "fuel" for the first year of the scheme.

Daniel Coward, environmental consultant to Haven, said he believed the new "plug point" was a first for the UK holiday industry. "I'm absolutely delighted that Haggerston Castle has been chosen as a site for the quick charger," he said.

"We want to do everything we can to encourage people to shun gas-guzzling transport in favour of carbon neutral travel around the region.

"Travelling from Newcastle to Edinburgh for electric vehicles is an 80-mile trip, which is cutting it fine for a single charge.

"And possibly the charging points people have seen so far being installed in car parks are trickle chargers that can take up to six hours.

"But ours does it in 20 minutes. It's more like going to a petrol station and while you wait you can go and get a coffee or read a paper.

"You don't even have to know where the charging point is because the sat navs built into these new cars tells you where they are.

And in the next two weeks we should be automatically added to the system."

The new charging station is part of the Charge Your Car Project's plans to install 1,000 charging points by 2013.

In the North East there is a pot of pounds 7.8m to fund the roll out, with pounds 2.9m from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), pounds 3.8m from One North East and just over pounds 1m from regional partners.

John Lowes, a Nissan senior engineer and charging infrastructure specialist currently working with the Charge your Car team, said: "We're really pleased to work with Haggerston Castle.

"The location on the A1 is perfect and Haven's commitment to reducing carbon emissions makes them the ideal partner for a project of this nature."

Haggerston was recently awarded a silver Green Tourism Business Award and the park hopes that the charger will help see them claim a gold award this year.

Haggerston general manager Gordon Walker said: "Many of our holiday home owners and holidaymakers live no more than two hours' drive from Haggerston Castle.

"So we're hoping the fast charge unit will provide the additional incentive for them to take the plunge and convert to electrically-charged motoring."

CAPTION(S):

BIG CHARGE From left, Peter Carruthers of Summers-Inman who were involved in the project; Daniel Coward, environmental consultant to Haven Holidays; Rory the Tiger; Gordon Walker general manager of Haggerston Castle and John Lowes of the Charge your Car project. Inset, Rory fills up a car
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 29, 2011
Words:535
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