Milton Keynes has committed to a serious increase in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure by awarding Chargemaster a £2.3 million contract to deliver on the pledges of its Go Ultra Low City commitment.
The city was awarded £9 million in January as part of funding won by four UK cities to be used to increase take-up of ultra-low emission vehicles. As part of its submission to the competition, Milton Keynes pledged to build two EV charging hubs which will now powered by units from Chargemaster.
The company will also install 50 public chargers at a range of locations around the city where motorists are able to park for more than an hour, while 200 on-street charging units will also be installed.
In addition to this, Chargemaster will supply EV chargers to support 30 bays for electric car club vehicles and as part of its involvement, it also plans to install charging points in the proposed EV Experience Centre, which is due to be launched at The Centre:MK in 2017.
Brian Matthews, head of transport Innovation at Milton Keynes, said: “We were delighted to be chosen to be a part of the Go Ultra Low Cities programme earlier this year. Chargemaster submitted a compelling and informative bid, which aligned with our goals. It could also demonstrate that the reliability of its network and the operational support it offers is second to none.
“We expect the first charging points to be rolled out in early 2017, making Milton Keynes an even better place to own an EV”.
David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster, added: “We’re excited to be a part of Milton Keynes’ bright future as a Go Ultra Low City. The council has a vision to make the town a real showcase of what can be done to reduce emissions and increase air quality, for example. We are confident that our charging infrastructure proposal will help Milton Keynes realise these goals.”
The Go Ultra Low City has already undertaken several measures to boost EV numbers in the city, including a green parking permit scheme giving EV drivers access to 15,000 free parking spaces throughout the city.
Chargemaster already operates 170 standard and 56 rapid charging points in Milton Keynes and recorded a four-fold increase in usage of this charging infrastructure over the summer as the city’s measures began to take effect.
As well as the cities funding from the government-backed Go Ultra Low initiative, a range of new measures have been introduced in recent months to support the growth of the UK’s EV market.
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) recently launched a workplace charging scheme, offering businesses £300 per installation of a new charging socket, while chancellor Philip Hammond included a new tax break for expenditure on charge points in his Autumn Statement.
David Martell will be writing on the subject of EV support and what still needs to come from government in the next issue of Inside Clean Energy, due out in January 2017.