Electronics shop offering more than plug in Televisions.

UK electrical retailer Comet have just announced a new trial electric vehicle recharging scheme at their Purley Way, Superstore in Croydon, Surrey.

Just south of Central London, within the greater London area, Croydon has a relitavely high number of electric cars on it’s streets such as the GWiz, NiceCar, a few SmartEDs and even a City El the last time I checked. Comet are expecting so many electric vehicles to take part that they’re even advising folks to telephone ahead to check there’s a spare charging point!

Plug your electric car in while you shop for electric goodies

According to this article on the Register, Comet’s Managing Director Hugh Harvey, hinted that Comet may even think about selling electric cars in the future, saying that they were in talks with various car manufacturers to try and help bring these vehicles to the mass market through the electronics superstore chain. Buying your car from the same place you buy your TV isn’t perhaps the best idea in the world (I’m not sure I would want to do it) – but the concept isn’t new. Back in the 1980s when Sir Clive Sincalair’s Infamous human/electric three-wheeled C5 was launched it was sold at Comet for a princely sum of £139.99. While the Sinclair C5 flopped it certainly wasn’t down to Comet’s sales attempt and it looks like Comet haven’t lost the electric vehicle bug. The pilot project, which is carried out with a partnership between Comet and Merceedes-Benz is called “Plug & Go” and, if successful at the Croydon store, will be rolled out nationwide.

Hugh Harvey said at the launch event

“Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly important to London and we are supporting the need for greener transportation in the capital with the introduction of our free ‘Plug & Go’ points. As an electrical specialist we need to respond to customer demand and with electric vehicles set to revolutionise city living over the next few years, it is only right that we look to sell them as part of our offer.”

That’s brilliant news for any eco-consious geek wanting a new HDTV, although given the fact that most UK EVs are on the small side you may want to check your latest electronic gadget will fit in the back of you EV before you buy it!

Here’s a video of the charging point in operation. Why the strange whistling can be heard coming from the SmartED is anyone’s guess…


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh-B3nzVwVg&hl=en&fs=1&]

The more companies offer this kind of charging arrangement (a few hours maximum charge is enough for most EV owners to get a partial charge while they shop) the more likely EV owners are to use their business over competitors. After all, free power and priority parking really makes us EV owners feel welcome and supported.

Thanks, Comet! Here’s hoping your trial is a complete success and you roll out nationwide just as soon as you can!