The home of concrete cows will soon be the home of EVs...
Milton Keynes will be famous for more than its concrete cows now that it will also be home to a new electric vehicle ‘Experience Centre’ in a bid to boost interest in electric motoring. The project is due to launch in the spring 2017 and will be located within the city’s main shopping centre.
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure provider Chargemaster has won a contract to set up and operate the EV Experience Centre, which is being touted as the UK’s first-ever shopping centre multi-brand showroom. Chargemaster already operates on behalf of Milton Keynes Council 170 standard public chargers and 56 rapid chargers in the local area.
Milton Keynes was awarded £9 million Go Ultra Low Cities funding in January 2016 to encourage the uptake of low emission vehicles and hit the target of 23 percent of all car sales being electric or plug-in by 2021.
According to Chargemaster the project has been designed to promote the benefits of electric car ownership. As well as showcasing the latest models and technology, trained independent professionals will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions and refer them to local dealerships or partner leasing companies. As an added bonus, local residents and businesses will also be able to test drive a range of vehicles on a short- or long-term basis.
Commenting on the initiative, Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation at Milton Keynes, said: “Our commitment to making Milton Keynes a go-to destination and flagship Go Ultra Low city starts with our residents. We’re delighted to be working with Chargemaster on this project, and are confident that the team is best placed to champion the EV sector, considering their knowledge and experience of the industry.”
Other initiatives in the programme include a £2.3 million investment into additional local charging infrastructure. This will see Chargemaster set up two filling-station-style rapid charging hubs and 50 destination chargers across the town. The introduction of free parking for ultra-low emission vehicles, as well trialling the latest developments in technology such as inductive charging, are among other projects designed to boost electric vehicle uptake.