Chargemaster has opened the UK’s first multi-brand electric vehicle (EV) showroom in Milton Keynes.
Visitors can learn about and test drive the newest electric and hybrid models from BMW, Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen and Kia with no sales pressure.
The EV Experience Centre is part of Milton Keynes Council’ s Go Ultra Low City scheme, funded by government, and supports the town’ s aim for electric vehicles to make up 23% of all new car sales in the local area within five years.
Open seven days per week, the site offers test drives from its fleet of 53 electric cars. Interested customers can also rent one of the vehicles for seven days for a nominal fee of £70.
Chargemaster chief exectutive David Martell told AM: “We are completely brand neutral. Our team of experts will explain the benefits of running an EV and hopefully take away some of the misconceptions that customers might have.”
“If a customer is interesting in buying an EV we pass them on to the retailer. We are building relationships with the local dealers and we can pass them a very warm lead,” explained Martell.
Chargemaster is the largest manufacturer in the UK of electric car charging points. It has partnerships with most manufacturers to supply charge points alongside new vehicles. With some the brands offer them free with the car.
Martell said: “We have seen tremendous growth in the uptake of electric cars over the past five years, as they’ve become more competitive in terms of costs, and more practical in terms of range.
“We expect the UK electric vehicle parc to rise to more than one million by the middle of 2022, but it could grow to as much as 1.4m.”
The company currently operates more than 6000 charging points across the country and is rolling out 25 rapid chargers every month.
“There are a lot of charging points out there – 13,000 in total - but some are old and need replacement. As they are being taken over by the private sector you’ll find more and more will be updated.”
He predicts by 2020 there will be around 50,000 public charging points in the UK in line with wider adoption of EVs.
The EV Experience Centre is located within Centre:MK, 26 & 28 Crown Walk, Milton Keynes, MK9 3ES.