Charging points for electric cars are to be installed in Brighton and Hove.

Owning battery powered vehicles in the city could become practical with the introduction of ten on-street recharging sites.

The pilot scheme, which will cost £30,000, could be extended to other locations if the technology proves popular.

The project is to be funded with a £2.2 million European Union grant, recently awarded to deliver transport initiatives in the city.

The council was selected ahead of 40 other cities which bid for the Civitas – CityVitalitySustainability – cash.

Road safety campaigns and school travel planning are also to receive funds.

More than 70 on-street electrical points are already installed in Britain.

Electric car owners are given half price parking permits in Brighton and Hove.

Calvey Taylor-Haw, managing director of Brighton-based Elektromotive Ltd, has helped a number of councils puts the units in place. He said: “If the public start to believe the infrastructure is coming through, they will have more confidence to buy electric cars.

“I do not think oil prices are going to come down and that will lead to people changing their driving habits.

“It is exciting times for electric cars.”

He said the charging points had proved popular in London and expected to see 500 installed in the next year.

In Westminister, 12 points are already in use and provide charging for an annual cost of £75.

The parking meter style machines are operated with a smartcard supplied by the council. A similar scheme is likely to be used in Brighton and Hove.

A council spokeswoman said: “It’s an exciting prospect but we’re in the early stages and have not yet decided where the money will be spent and the detail of any electric vehicle charging points.”

Almost ten years ago, technology journalist Gerry Woolf installed the first private electric vehicle charging point in Brighton but has now turned his back on electric cars.

The founder of the now dissolved Electric Vehicle Association said he saw more potential in hybrid cars like Toyota’s Prius, using both electricity and fuel. He said: “Electric cars are not the future.”