New charging points for electric vehicles.
OWNERS of electric cars will be able to charge them in less than half an hour at six new locations across the North East.
Unlike conventional chargers, which can take up to four hours to fully charge an electric vehicle (EV), the 50KW rapid chargers will allow drivers to charge their vehicles in as little as 20 minutes.
Chargers are set to be installed at: Smithy Square Car Park, Cramlington; Gateshead Leisure Centre; the Metro Centre in Gateshead; St Nicholas Car Park, Gosforth; Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham; and Beaconsfield Car Park, Tynemouth.
Each cluster will have two 50KW rapid chargers and each rapid charger can power two cars at a time and will have contactless credit card readers.
The North East Combined Authority (NECA) put a tender out for the chargers, which was won by Green Tech firm The Phoenix Works.
NECA has funded the installation of the chargers after securing cash from the Office for Low Emissions and the European Regional Development Fund.
The charging infrastructure will be managed and serviced by Electric Blue.
Coun Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council and chairman of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: "The fact these rapid charge hubs can fully charge a car in 20 minutes marks a huge step forward from the existing infrastructure.
"By installing these chargers we are further normalising electric vehicle use, bringing it ever closer to the time it takes to fuel a conventional car."