If you are new to the electric car market and possibly considering buying an electric car over the next 12 months, then a visit to The Electrical Vehicle Experience Centre (EVEC) in Milton Keynes would be a great place to start.
As a Go Ultra Low City, Milton Keynes aims for 23% of all new vehicles sold to be electric or plug-in vehicles by 2022, as well as to increase charge point infrastructure and to promote innovative zero-emission solutions.
In 2016, Go Ultra Low launched its ‘Low Carbon City Scheme’ aimed at improving emissions in major cities across the country and with exclusive funding awarded to 4 chosen cities. Of the £40 million total funding, £9 million was awarded to Milton Keynes, the second-largest funding in the scheme, alongside London, Bristol and Nottingham. Funding in Milton Keynes has been distributed as follows:
- £5 million has been put towards electric and plug-in vehicles over the next 5 years
- £2 million invested in infrastructure
- £1 million towards innovation
- £500,000 invested in the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre
Milton Keynes Council plan to achieve this through initiatives such as the EV Experience Centre, as well as through the building a Rapid Electric Charging Hub equipped with 6-8 rapid charging units and by working with local residents and landlords as part of the ‘MK Promise’.
What does the Electrical Vehicle Centre do?
The centre is based in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire so a relatively short distance to travel for many of us. They are the UK’s first brand-neutral centre for electrical vehicles and plug-ins and a great place to really understand the truth about electric cars today. They have 3 simple aims in the centre: education, experience & efficiency:
- Education – to offer expert knowledge and end-to-end advice, from questions about cost to technical information on batteries and charging.
- Experience – to give visitors a real experience of the vehicles by offering short-term and long-term test drives.
- Efficiency – to guide visitors with easy-to-understand information, no tricky jargon, just friendly, real advice.
With 7 members of staff on-site (a.k.a. ‘EV gurus’), you can be guaranteed that all your questions will be answered.
What can you do at the EVEC?
Well, a good place to start would be to talk with one of the EV gurus so they can establish where you are in your EV journey, what you may want to consider and what next steps may be best for you. They can guarantee a lot of myth-busting will occur during these conversations as they continually see people amazed by how much more developed the UK EV market is than they originally thought it was.
A primary reason for going to the EVEC is to test drive the range of cars they have on-site. They offer 20-minute test drives on the spot, you just need to remember to bring your driving licence and DVLA check code. The cars you can choose to test drive include:
- Audi e-tron Sportback
- BMW i3
- MINI Countryman
- MINI Electric
- Renault Zoe ZE. 40
- Renault Zoe ZE. 50
- MINI Countryman
- MINI Electric
- Volkswagen e-UP
- Volkswagen e-Golf
- Volkswagen ID.3
- Volkswagen ID.4
- Vauxhall Corsa-e
The EVEC also offer longer-term test drives ranging from 2 to 8 days and reasonably priced too. For 2 days (1 night) prices start from only £30 with 100 miles included. For 8 days (7 nights) prices start from only £120 with 400 miles included. Excess mileage is charged at 25p per mile and prices do differ for the Audi e-tron Sportback.
For private customers, Electric Road recommends a visit if you are seriously thinking about changing to an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid. It is not just about matching you to a particular car, in fact, it’s more about the wider education the EV gurus give customers that they can use moving forward in their considerations of all things electric.
Also, the EVEC is available for any business that would like to help their employees familiarise themselves with the world of electric vehicles. On the experience days staff talk about the past, present and future of EVs, covering a full EV 101 and simplify all the variants of EVs. During this session the gurus will cover:
- Charging infrastructure
- Cost savings
- Types of EV
- Zap Map
- Charging times
- Current incentives
- Connection types
- Test drives
Virtual sessions are also available and they will cover the information above and include a Q&A session with an experienced EV specialist. Keep an eye on the EVEC’s social media to find out when the next virtual events will be.
The EVEC is based at 26-28 Crown Walk-in Centre, Milton Keynes, you can find them between Boots and F. Hinds and opposite Shoezone and CEX.
Their opening times are as follows:
Monday: 9:30 – 18:00
Tuesday: 9:30 – 18:00
Wednesday: 9:30 – 18:00
Thursday: 9:30 – 18:00
Friday: 9:30 – 18:00
Saturday: 9:00 – 19:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00
If you wanted to contact someone at the EVEC then you can either call 01908 229339 or have a live chat with one of the staff at www.evexperiencecentre.co.uk