The Milton Keynes Electric Vehicle Experience Centre provides independent advice and test drive opportunities to help citizens choose an electric vehicle.
Milton Keynes received Government funds to become a Go Ultra Low City. Part of this was spent on developing the EV Experience Centre. The Centre fulfils aims of the Sustainability Strategy to encourage sustainable low carbon living and provides a regional hub for test driving a range of EV’s.
The Centre provides independent advice from well trained staff and offers test drives of up to a week of different makes and models of EV's. Having access to independent advice and being able to try before buying builds trust in the EV technologies and helps citizens make informed choices.
Hiring an EV for a week allows people to see if an EV is suitable for their daily living and lifestyle and provides confidence in a decision to switch to an electric car.
Milton Keynes has a network of over 400 charging points, many are being upgraded to faster charging rates. In March 2019 a universal rapid charging hub for EV’s was opened by Mayor at the Coach Station at the M1 Junction in Milton Keynes. This is operated by Chargemaster and includes eight 50kW rapid chargers.
Another incentive for using an electric vehicle is the free city centre parking with a green parking permit available for low emission vehicles.
Based on the package of benefits MK’s provided for EV drivers (and support for potential new drivers), the uptake of electric Vehicles in MK has been much higher than in other parts of the UK.

Resources needed

The Electric Vehicle Experience Centre required both capital and revenue to set up and run. In MK this was created with £500,000 GBP from a £9m GBP grant provided by central Government for MK to become a Go Ultra Low City.

Evidence of success

• Developing smart, shared sustainable mobility for a growing city
• Used by national media as a good source of independent information
and a way to try before you buy
• Successful partnerships with business and Government
• UK new car market fell 35% in June 2020, Battery EV sales rose by 262%

Potential for learning or transfer

Building the EV Experience Centre had four requisites:
1. Capital and revenue funding
Without funding from central government the EV Experience Centre would not have been possible. Milton Keynes Council provided the time of an EV expert to lead the project.
2. Partnership agreements with EV manufacturers
All EV producers were approached, not all agreed to join the initiative.
3. Staff need to be approachable and trained to have a broad technical understanding of EV engineering and EV market. The work force needs to be enthusiastic about EV’s and a willing commitment for continuing professional development.
4. Infrastructure to support EV’s
• Milton Keynes has over 400 public charging points and fast chargers
• Milton Keynes has the largest public charging facility at the Coachway Junction of the M1. The EV Hub has 9 x 50kW and 4 x 350kW chargers.
• Milton Keynes is opening 20,000 parking bays that will be free for Ultra Low EV’s
• EV’s will have use of all bus lanes in MK.

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Main institution
Milton Keynes Council
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire,
Start Date
July 2017
End Date


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