The number of visits to electric charging stations in Greater Manchester doubled in the past 12 months. There were 3,411 charging sessions in December 2015 compared to 1,732 a year earlier.
The Greater Manchester Electric Vehicle Scheme, led by Transport for Greater Manchester, provides access to more than 300 charging points across all 10 Greater Manchester districts.
There were almost three times as many charging sessions in 2015 than in 2014, 28,744 compared to 10,174, reflecting the acceleration in usage.
The number of new drivers registered with GMEV has increased from 48 in 2013, when the scheme was launched, to 956 in 2015.
The three most-used charge points over the last 12 months were at the Trafford Centre, 21,000 kWh over 2,700 charging sessions, the John Dalton Building at Manchester Metropolitan University 18,000 kWh over 1,700 sessions, and the multi-storey car park at MediaCityUK 12,000 kWh from 1,200 sessions.
The average time a driver plugs in for per session in Greater Manchester is just over two hours.
In Liverpool city region, a Merseytravel-run scheme saw the number of charging sessions rise from 67 in August-October 2014 to 426 during the same period in 2015. There are 52 charging points available but not all have been in place for a full year.
Dave Newton, TfGM’s transport strategy director, said: “It’s great to see that the GMEV scheme is growing ever more successful, with charging sessions almost trebling and registrations surging over the past year.
“There are so many benefits to using electric or hybrid vehicles in cities and towns. These low emission vehicles are cleaner and quieter than ordinary cars, improving air quality, reducing noise pollution and lowering carbon emissions.
“Crucially, electric vehicles are also cheaper to run, so they can be a great option for commuters and for business vehicle fleets.
“That’s why we’ll continue to work with the government and with industry to ensure that Greater Manchester has a strong electric vehicle infrastructure.”
The £2.1m GMEV scheme was funded by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles and from local funding streams. It also has private sector partners including NCP, Manchester Central, Manchester Metropolitan University, Salford University and intu Trafford Centre, who provide their own charging points to supplement the network.
The GMEV network is operated by Charge Your Car, which manages payments and access to the GMEV scheme on TfGM’s behalf.