One of the best benefits available for drivers of electric cars is that London Midland provides free car parking at its railway stations.
This is particularly attractive at two of its stations, Milton Keynes and Watford, as they have very high parking charges (an annual season ticket at these stations costs £1200 and £1093 respectively).
The deal is that London Midland provides a discount off a car parking permit at its station car parks for what it calls an “ECO friendly vehicle”. The discounts are as follows:
- 50% discount on monthly, quarterly and annual parking permits if the vehicle emits no more than 120g of carbon dioxide every kilometre (120g/km).
- 100% discount on monthly, quarterly and annual parking permit, if the vehicle is registered with the DVLA and has “Electric” fuel type. This can be checked on the vehicle registration document (V5C) sent by the DVLA.
Full details are given on the London Midland website for the parking permits and their associated discounts; they are very generous. Clearly if someone pays £200 per month to lease one of our electric cars, for example, they can get back half that money just from savings in parking charges.
We used this idea recently as the basis for a marketing campaign, in two parts. Firstly we set up a small ‘pop-up shop’ outside Milton Keynes Central station. This was done in a similar way to the school event we did late last year, with the ZOE on display and me chatting to passers-by. It ran for a couple of hours in the early evening to catch commuters on their way home.
Secondly, we did a pass through the station car park a couple of days later, putting fliers under the wipers of cars with season tickets in the windscreen to give information on the discount and our offers. While there I noticed there was a new pair of rapid chargers installed outside and awaiting commissioning, so it definitely looks like a welcoming location for electric cars.
Inside the multi-storey part of the car park there were already a couple of EVs in residence, a Renault ZOE and a Vauxhall Ampera. With a bit of luck there will be a lot more soon.