TRO has been appointed to launch the UK’s first ever Electric Vehicle Experience Centre in partnership with Chargemaster.
Opening in Milton Keynes, the EV Experience Centre is aimed at educating consumers by demonstrating the value of electric vehicles.
TRO’s retail division is responsible for the design and production of the EV Experience Centre, which will feature a number of engaging technologies to enrich shoppers’ showroom experience.
Ben Taylor, retail director at TRO, said:
“We are thrilled to be spearheading this innovative initiative in partnership with Chargemaster. The new store reflects the automotive industry landscape and the dramatic increase of consumer interest in electric cars – plug in power models are appealing not just to dedicated environmentalists but a much more mainstream audience. The project embodies several areas of TRO’s capabilities – melding our expertise in retail, automotive and digital spheres.”
Chargemaster is responsible for the running and management of the store for its five-year duration.
The EV Experience Centre is to be delivered as part of Milton Keynes’ £9 million ‘Go Ultra Low’ Cities programme, which encourages the uptake of low emission vehicles – with a target of 23 per cent of all car sales being electric or plug-in by 2021.
Receiving my monthly bill from Chargemaster makes me happy. Let me explain….
Chargemaster Plc is the company that provides the majority of Milton Keynes electric car charging points and since I only charge publicly I am billed by them for all of my ‘fuel’ consumption.
Working in Central Milton Keynes, I am lucky to have a vast network of charging points available to me, I charge mostly during my working day, as and when I need to. I also benefit from free parking under the Green Permit Scheme which covers all standard bays (purple) and some premium bays (red), both can be found across the city centre area.
Last month’s bill really did highlight to me the huge cost savings owning an Electric Car has given me, and why every commuter in Central Milton Keynes should consider getting one.
Check this out…
Fuel cost per day
£18 (£2 per hr x9)
Total cost per day for parking & fuel
Total for the period
(11 working days)
Actual cost billed by Chargemaster PLC
(inclusive of Polar subscription fee)
Averaged over a working year (261 days)
*Based on my 15 mile round trip commute @ 20p per mile.
** Averaged daily cost from bill, includes ALL mileage not just commutable distance.
There can be a significant lead time in arranging the installation of a charge point so it is best if this gets underway as soon as possible after your new electric car is ordered.
If the car is a new Renault ZOE or Nissan Leaf on PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) then installation of the charge point will be organised by the manufacturer. As part of this deal the manufacturer will specify their preferred charge point.
In most other cases you will need to arrange the installation yourself. We can help you through the process with advice and guidance:
We provide details of the main installation companies below.
New Motion EVSE Ltd, based in London and part of a Dutch group, the largest provider in Europe.
In most cases the installation company is likely to contact you for information on your property, including asking for photographs of your main consumer unit (‘fuse box’) and the preferred location for the charge point. Usually a dedicated cable will be run from the consumer unit to the charge point so sometimes the installer may also ask for information on, and photographs of, the route between the two. Generally an isolator switch will be installed in this new circuit.
Typically a standard installation will allow for cabling of up to 20m in length. If the distance is greater than this then there may be an additional cost to the customer (of perhaps £5 per metre). Similarly there may be additional costs if the installation is complex (e.g. passing a cable over a walkway or under a path); these issues are likely to be highlighted by the installer ahead of the installation visit. Sometimes the electrical system in the house will lack a mains isolator switch and this may need to be installed in advance by your electricity supplier; again the installer should flag this ahead of their visit.
The installation itself will take less than a day (it can be as little as an hour). You will need to be in attendance and the electricity supply will be turned off for much of the work.
After the installation is complete you will likely be asked to sign off on the work (and will be given a set of keys to the charge point if it is key protected). You should test the charge point as soon as possible by connecting your car, ideally while the engineer is still present in case it shows up any issues.
PS: I have previously described the installation of my charge point in detail here and here.
Chargemaster has won the contract to set up and operate a new EV Experience Centre in Milton Keynes.
This will be the UKs first-ever shopping centre multi-brand showroom. 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 per cent of all car sales being electric or plug-in by 2021.
The project is due to launch in spring and will be situated within the city’s premier shopping centre. The ground-breaking new project will help residents understand the true potential of EV ownership.
As well as showcasing the latest EVs and exciting technology, highly trained independent professionals will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions and refer them to relevant local dealerships or partner leasing companies. As an added bonus, Milton Keynes residents and businesses will also be able to test drive a range of vehicles on a short or long-term basis.
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.”
David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, said:
“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.”
The City of Westminster is to offer a greater number and variety of electric vehicle (EV) charging points available to drivers in the borough from early 2017.
The council announced yesterday (30 November) that from January 2017, charging points will be upgraded and up to 20 new outlets will be installed, including some rapid chargers.
The smart grid technology company BPL, under the Source London network, is putting in place a new model for electric charging, while Chargemaster is rolling out public charging network ‘Polar’.
PodPoint will be upgrading the equipment and the council will be working with new operators to increase provision for EV users across the borough. A new range of tariffs tailored for different users of different types of EV technology is being introduced by the operators.
Westminster city council was the first local authority in the UK to launch on-street charging points for electric vehicles. It now has over 60 on-street charging points, with an additional 200 available off-street.
The council claims that the expansion of the EV network will also help its Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood and other air quality hotspots in the borough by reducing the emission of harmful pollutants.
Cllr Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking, said:
“Poor air quality is a continuing problem for us in Westminster, but we’re doing all we can to help improve our environment through our Greener City Action Plan. This includes encouraging a switch away from diesel vehicles, with easy parking for electric vehicles and improving electric vehicle infrastructure, encouraging car club use as an alternative to a private car, reducing freight and waste vehicle movement, promoting more cycling and walking, eliminating vehicle engine idling and reducing emissions from buildings.”
Cllr Acton also explained that the authority is also trialling new measures within its Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood which “will help make real improvements to air quality in central London.” And, she added:
“Electric vehicles can help by cutting reliance on more polluting cars. The expansion of the EV network offers an improved service for those who need a vehicle.”
One week into the new and exciting world of my new eMotor and I’m looking to venture further afield.
Home charging is easy, if a little long with a 13amp plug and I eagerly await my 32 amp POD Point to take advantage of cheap night rate electricity. It’s still called Economy 7 you know, just like it used to be way back when.
I mentioned in my previous post I was tackling range anxiety. Doing so within the confines of Milton Keynes (MK) seemed sensible. It was fun using sport mode to drain the battery 🙂
At eighteen miles range remaining all the appropriate warning lights went off (came on?) and…
I continued driving!
Yup. I continued. I’m that kind of chap.
Brave huh? Yes, for a given value of brave. Eco mode made me feel a little more secure.
After a couple of miles of tormenting lights, prudence reared her head and I agreed with her. It was time for me to tackle my first rapid charge.
Dear reader please forgive me as I wave my ignorance at you in the following.
I pulled over, stopped and pressed lots of buttons* (no manual yet). Within moments I had a map of Milton Keynes and dozens of choices to hoover up some power. Ooh how happy and clever I felt.
It didn’t last.
Broughton is a newer area in MK so I chose to explore it and fill up there. Yes, since you ask, it happened to be the nearest point. Remember, I’m working on my range anxiety.
If I’d known the area I would’ve stayed on the main road and seen the chargers by the local shops. I didn’t. Satnag** said turn right into Cavan Way and I did. The location of the charger and the satnav were at odds by approximately one road and two hundred yards. I’ll remember that in future searches.
I parked (reversing cameras are great) and tackled the Monolith. Which cable/connector to use? Easy I know my plug options. Now, where do I pay? Ok. Sigh. I’ll read the instructions. Bu**er!
Yeah, I knew somewhere in the back of my mind you needed a card but surely I can just buy some electric? Just a little bit for cash? Eh? Hole in the wall technology right? Wrong. Holes in the wall are mostly for getting money out not for putting it in.
I closed my recharging flap (that’s not a euphemism) and did the walk of ignorance and shame back to my comfy leather seat. It felt further than the three paces. The heated seat and steering wheel cheered me until I was back at home with my three pin plug.
So take heed brave new adventurers, preparation is required to charge away from home.
I have now joined the Chargemaster Polar Network and Ecotricity (for the motorway free charges). Currently the Polar network has a six month offer free of standing charge. I’ll review my use of their service in May 🙂
One other thing. eMotors are eligible for free parking in MK once you have a green permit. Apply on line at the MK Council website.
BTW – The Ioniq eMotor? It is a fantastic machine. Pure pleasure to drive.
Bye for now. I’ll be in touch.
* The next day I noticed a horrible whining noise. My shock and disappointment convinced me a motor bearing was on the way out. Hang on what’s that light? Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) active. Not now it isn’t.
It was a good day – there was a lot of interest shown in the i3 and lots of good questions. I’m encouraged that the general public may finally be warming to electric cars.
We were positioned next to the Chargemaster stand which was handy as their stand was displaying a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and examples of their charge points. That meant it was easy to explain plug-in hybrids and home charging.
Overall it was a useful event and we look forward to repeating it next year.
A new partnership between the AA and Charagemaster is set to help boost sales of electric vehicles. In the first partnership of its kind, the Automobile Association and EV charge point specialists will combine forces to provide discounted charging, increased access to home charge points, an information campaign, and the roll-out of charge points at AA-rated hotels.
According to research conducted through AA members, 96 per cent of motorists don’t know the real cost of running an EV. This is despite the Association predicting that more than 500,000 plug-in vehicles will be on UK roads by 2020.
To combat this, the AA and Chargemaster will be attempting to overcome misconceptions with an information campaign that highlights the benefits of EV use and ownership. The partnership will also have practical financial impact on AA members with a discount worth more than 10 per cent on Chargemaster’s Polar Plus network. This brings monthly membership down by £1 to £6.85.
The number of charge points located at AA-rated hotels is also set to expand dramatically thanks to the partnership. With 2,500 hotels in the UK rated by the AA, the potential expansion of the EV charging network is huge.
Edmund King OBE, AA president, says:
“We think that the EV revolution is about to take off and we want to help consumers understand the benefits of low cost, low emission driving and to show them it is accessible and affordable. Per mile driven an EV is five times cheaper than the average petrol car and carries no Vehicle Excise Duty.
“Modern electric vehicle designs and performance are comparable to conventional internal combustion-powered vehicles. Concerns and regulations about diesel emissions may also prove to be a tipping point. Sales of new ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEV) doubled over the last year. And 63,000 drivers have taken advantage of the plug-in car grant. We expect the market to grow substantially, as buyers overcome their misconceptions.
“The vast number of car journeys are under 25 miles and a third of households have two or more cars. Hence, we estimate that more than two million second cars could be electric tomorrow, with no disadvantages and many cost-saving benefits. The AA’s research also shows that if drivers owned an electric vehicle, three-quarters (75 per cent) would expect to charge it overnight, mainly at home while a quarter (25 per cent) would rely on public charging points away from home.”
David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, points out that a significant barrier to electric vehicle ownership is concern that when they reach their destination, drivers will not find a charging point available. This worries 81 per cent of respondents to the AA’s research.
“We want to change that perception,” he says. “This new relationship with the AA will see hundreds more AA branded charging points installed. They’ll go in at AA-rated hotels and other accessible public places such as supermarkets, public car parks and town centres while we will be embarking on a public awareness campaign to show that charging a vehicle at home is neither difficult or costly.”
Edmund King concluded:
“The facts speak for themselves. The cost of electric vehicles is coming down and the £4,500 government grant helps make them competitive. Myths about batteries not lasting long have been blown away by use. Some of the earliest models have clocked up very high mileages with almost no diminution of battery capacity.
“Modern EVs have a much greater range and battery technology is advancing as fast as the cost is falling. Most family saloon cars will drive for 80 to 100 miles without difficulty, well over the average journey length. EV performance is startling – top-range vehicles will accelerate faster than sports cars and provide all the creature comforts.
“This is the future of motoring and we are proud to be launching this initiative with Chargemaster today. Now is the time to charge up the EV revolution.”
Nissan is offering free homecharge units to new Leaf buyers, giving new owners a ready-made charging set-up.
The offer is part of a nationwide campaign with the Japanese manufacturer’s official charging partners – Chargemaster and Pod Point.
Buyers of new Leafs on one of Nissan’s finance packages will be eligible for a free Pod Point or Chargemaster unit if the car is bought before Friday 30th September. The deal is on all models and specifications of Leaf, the best selling pure-EV in the UK.
With all buyers of Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) eligible cars – of which the Leaf is one – able to claim the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) grant too, there has long been help for buyers of new EVs to easily add a home charge point at the same time. The grant offers up to £500 off the cost of buying a unit and having it installed.
Chargemaster and Pod Point are offering 3.7kW Nissan-approved home charge units fully installed as part of the offer, saving customers just under £400 compared to if they had bought an EVHS-backed unit from the installers directly.
The process needs no input from the buyer once they say that they would like to take Nissan up on the offer. The dealership notifies the installers, which then take over, organising home visits and arranging for engineers to fit the unit free of charge.
David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, said:
“Our relationship with Nissan GB has evolved since we announced that Chargemaster was an official charging partner in the UK. We are delighted to be able to offer Nissan’s finance customers a trouble-free home charging solution free of charge. Chargemaster is committed to making charging easy and accessible for every EV motorist, and the team can’t wait to get started on the campaign and future homecharge installations.”
Erik Fairbairn, CEO and founder of POD Point, said:
“We are very pleased to continue our close partnership with Nissan GB by providing its electric car customers with free home charging points. The ability to charge an electric car at home is a key part of the EV experience and we are excited to help Nissan ease the transition into the world of electric driving.”