New fast electric vehicle charging points unveiled in central Sunderland

Regional EV charge facilities have been given another boost as new fast electric vehicle charging points are unveiled at St Mary’s Car Park in Sunderland.

The four new 7kW fast chargers at St Mary’s in the city centre will be operational by April and will provide simultaneous charging for eight electric vehicles.

The new charging facility was approved by the Joint Transport Committee last year and has been made possible thanks to a £600,000 grant from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Local Growth Fund programme, a £270m local capital programme to deliver a range of growth measures to achieve the objectives set out in the North East Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). Boosting EV charging facilities is a key part of the North East Transport Plan which was adopted by the region in 2021.

Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “Encouraging greater take-up of EVs and boosting infrastructure is a key part of our 15-year plan to significantly reduce carbon emissions in the region. We’re passionate about providing enhanced facilities in the North East to encourage greener, more sustainable options for motorists – which is why we’re thrilled to unveil this new EV charging point in Sunderland.

“The site is strategically placed so that it is close to shops, popular cultural sites, University campuses and residential areas – allowing people to charge their vehicles close-by while they go about their business. I am hopeful that its central location will help to encourage more local people to make the switch to zero emission vehicles, which in turn will move us closer to achieving the aims of the North East Transport Plan.”

EV Charge Points | Transport North East
The EV charge point in situ at St Mary’s Car Park in Sunderland

In addition to the new EV charge point in Sunderland, additional EV charging sites will soon be delivered in each of the seven local authority areas in the North East. 

Andrew Moffat CBE, Chair of the North East LEP Investment Board, said: “Thanks to the significant investment in our region from Britishvolt, Nissan, and Envision-AESC, the North East is now one of the leading destinations in the world for advancements in electrification.

“It’s fitting that the first of seven new electric vehicle charging points under this investment programme across the North East LEP area has opened in Sunderland, home to Nissan and the International Advanced Manufacturing Park, where a new £450m gigafactory will be created.

“The £600k investment from the North East LEP’s Local Growth Fund to help identify and create the new electric vehicle charging points is a further sign of our commitment to support the transition to electric vehicles in the North East, build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic, and support government’s aim to reach net zero by 2050.”

Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said:

“As we push towards our goal of becoming carbon neutral, we want to make it easier for motorists who already drive electric vehicles and those who want to make the switch to a more sustainable form of transport.

“These new charging points at St Mary’s Car Park add to Sunderland’s rapid hub charging stations, the council’s own electric light commercial vehicles and the roll-out of more on-street charging points across the city.”

The EV charging technology for this project is being supplied and installed by SWARCO Smart Charging, who are also the contractor responsible maintenance of the EV charge points.

Justin Meyer, Managing Director at SWARCO Smart Charging, said: “We are committed to supporting the success of the North East Transport Plan and the environmental mission to significantly reduce carbon emissions in the region.

“We know that reliable and easy to use charging technology, positioned in convenient locations for drivers, is absolutely key to supporting EV drivers. So, this new city centre charging site in Sunderland, along with the ongoing expansion of the public charging network, will have a significant impact on the North East and will be instrumental in giving confidence to those who are in the process of considering an EV for their next car.”

More fast and rapid EV charging points are set to be delivered in the following locations this year:

  • Otterburn, Northumberland
  • Glenholme Place, Crook, Durham
  • Church Street, Gateshead
  • The Dunes Entertainment Centre, South Shields
  • West Denton Leisure Centre, West Newcastle
  • Tynemouth Pool Leisure Centre, North Tyneside

To find out more about the North East Transport Plan visit

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