17 Sep 2009

Open University in pioneering electric car project

Milton Keynes is one of nine UK cities to pilot a compatible network for recharging electric and hybrid cars. The Open University is a partner in Milton Keynes' successful application to be part of the £11m pioneering Joined Cities Plan which aims to create a national network that will allow people to use plug-in vehicles anywhere, including at home.

The Milton Keynes plan will provide charging infrastructure to support 1,000 vehicles from next year. Many of these will be hire cars, allowing as many people as possible to get a taste of what it is like to drive a modern electric plug-in car.

Stephen Potter, Professor of Transport Strategy at The Open University said: "Milton Keynes won a place on the Joined Cities Plan with its innovative approach of integrating electric vehicles with wider plans to develop more sustainable travel behaviour. We hope that this will be the first step in a climate change action plan for Milton Keynes in which the University will play a significant role."

The Joined Cities Plan will make it easier for drivers to charge plug-in vehicles in Birmingham, Coventry, Glasgow, London, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Oxford and Sunderland.

Editor's Notes:
The Open University's partners are the Milton Keynes Economy and Learning Partnership, Milton Keynes Council, Invest Milton Keynes, the South East England Development Agency and Cranfield University.

The Open University (OU) is the United Kingdom's largest university and the world leader in distance education. More than two million people have studied with the OU since it began in 1969. The OU has more than 200,000 students in over 40 countries studying for a variety of degrees and vocational qualifications ranging from short courses to PhDs.

Independent authorities have consistently ranked the OU in the top five UK universities for teaching quality and virtually all of the University’s research areas have received ratings of national or international excellence. OU students are more impressed with the quality of their courses and the support received than those at any other UK university, based on the findings of the National Student Survey. The OU has been at the top of the rankings every year since the survey began in 2005.

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