Chargemaster will attempt to entice motrists into zero-emission vehicles with the UK’s first dedicated EV experience centre at Milton Keynes shopping centre, The Centre:MK.
Part of the city’s £9 million Go Ultra Low Cities programme, the new facility will showcase vehicles from a variety of manufacturers under one roof and showcase Milton Keynes’ infrastructure of 170 standard public chargers and 56 rapid chargers, which were installed by Chargemaster on behalf of Milton Keynes Council.
The Go Ultra Low Cities funding, launched in January 2016, aims to encourage the uptake of low emission vehicles and hit the target of 23% of all car sales being electric or plug-in by 2021.
Chargemasters new store will see a team of “highly trained independent professionals” on hand to answer visitors’ EV questions and refer them to relevant local dealerships or partner leasing companies, a statement said.
Milton Keynes residents and businesses will also be able to test drive a range of 52 vehicles on a short- or long-term basis.
Brian Matthews, head of transport innovation at Milton Keynes Council, 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.”
Chargemaster chief executive, David Martell, added: “Being part of such a high-profile and diverse project is very exciting for Chargemaster.
“The centre will be the first of its kind and we are sure it will pave the way for other cities to follow.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Milton Keynes shoppers and showing them everything that going green has to offer.”
Other initiatives in the Go Ultra Low Cities programme include a £2.3 million investment into additional Milton Keynes charging infrastructure.
This will see Chargemaster supply its latest charging infrastructure to set up two filling-station-style EV 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 which aim to boost EV uptake.