Last weekend saw the long awaited opening of the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre (EVEC) in Milton Keynes. It officially opened to the public on Saturday 22nd July. It is funded through a government scheme awarded to the local council and is managed by Chargemaster, the company that has installed the majority of charge points around Milton Keynes.
The EVEC is essentially a car showroom for electric cars but is located in a shop space on Crown Walk in the main centre:mk shopping centre (it’s close to the middle and next to Boots). It doesn’t resemble an out-of-town dealership so much as the boutique style shops developed by Tesla, Apple and most mobile ‘phone companies.
The aim of the Centre is to both showcase existing electric models and be an information point for EV ownership in general. Visitors will be able to talk with staff about all elements of owning and running an EV, with test drives available too. It has been established to increase the number of EVs sold in the area. Milton Keynes’ target is for 23% of all new cars registered locally to be electric by 2021.
We are grateful to Chargemaster for inviting us to the Preview Event on Friday Night (Jo’s thoughts: A Little Bit of Zen). Most of the other guests appeared to be existing EV owners. The showroom housed examples of the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Volkswagen Golf GTE and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. There were drinks and snacks, and then introductory speeches by David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster, and Ted Foster, the new EVEC Manager. After the talks we had an opportunity to talk to Ted and the other staff.
EVEC Test Drives
As well as providing help and guidance on electric cars and EV driving, the EVEC is also making cars available for test drives. These can be short accompanied drives, however there is also the option of week-long extended test drives. For these there will be a charge (we understand about £70) largely to cover the inevitable cost of insurance. That’s seems fair to us – £10 per day to drive a new car, particularly considering the fuel costs will be negligible.
The enthusiasm of the EVEC ‘gurus’ is clear and we certainly appreciate the enthusiasm and resources that have gone into building and staffing the first dedicated electric vehicle showroom in the UK (and probably in the world). We wish it every success and will be supporting it by passing local customers to it for test drives.
If you live near Milton Keynes and are interested in taking a test drive in any one of a large range of new electric cars (including the Renault ZOE, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Golf GTE, and others) just get in touch with us on 01908-904020, or by email at sales@ fuelincluded.com.