First solar car pump opens in Rainham

In a burst of new initiative Britain’s first publicly available solar car pump for electric vehicles will be opening in Rainham next week.

Transport minister, Norman Baker, will be launching Use The Sun’s ‘eTap’ at the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME), in Marsh Way, Rainham, on July 6 at 9.30am.

The “unique” tap will cost �1 to plug into then 63p an hour, taking energy directly from the sun, or National Grid when the sun isn’t shining.

Use The Sun’s Managing Director, Charles Montlake, said: “Electric cars don’t have a very long driving range, so drivers often get anxious that their vehicle wont make the journey to their destination and home again.

“The eTap can eliminate this worry.”

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The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said he would like to see 1,300 of these charging points built - outnumbering the amount of petrol stations in London.

Mr Montlake added: “The idea is that eTaps would be placed at key destinations throughout the city, so people would charge up while they’re doing something else.”

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According to the eTap website, new electric cars will also be fitted with sat navs that show drivers where the closest pump is, so they will never be stuck for energy.

Designed and built in Basildon, the pump provides enough energy for an electric car to drive around 15 miles after one hour’s charge.

However, Mr Montlake said they are working to improve the taps performance so it takes less time to charge.

An Energy Saving Trust spokesman said: “Transport accounts for around 40 per cent of the UK’s energy consumption, so it’s clear we need to clean up our act on the road. But one of the key considerations in increasing the amount of electric vehicles out there is making sure there’s a charging network in place.”

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