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'Milton Keynes Promise' underway with first charge point installed for on-street charging

The Chargemaster Fastcharge unit has been installed within walking distance of the historic Wavendon House. Image: Chargemaster.

The Chargemaster Fastcharge unit has been installed within walking distance of the historic Wavendon House. Image: Chargemaster.

Milton Keynes has delivered the first charging point under the council’s ‘MK Promise’, which sets out to provide overnight electric vehicle (EV) charging within a short walk of a new EV owner without off-street parking facilities.

The Chargemaster Fastcharge unit has been installed at Wavendon House, a 17th-century Grade II-listed former outpost of Bletchley Park, following an application on behalf of the residents by John Zlotnicki.

“Whilst it is important to us to preserve and maintain our buildings, landscape and grounds in their historical setting, we recognise the need to ensure that our residents have the opportunity to choose to have environmentally-friendly vehicles.

“The MK Promise scheme enables us to look to the future whilst retaining the best of the past,” he said.

Funded partly through the £9 million Go Ultra Low investment awarded to Milton Keynes by the government in 2016, the ‘MK Promise’ sets out to provide charging solutions to drivers without a dedicated off-street location to charge, such as a driveway or garage.

Milton Keynes residents can submit their application once the process of purchasing or leasing an electric car is underway, at which point the council identifies potential locations within walking distance of their homes.

This could be in a communal parking area for a block of flats or situated on a street or local parking area close by, although the council has stated that they may be instances where a suitable and available location may not be found.

Brian Matthews, head of transport innovation at ‎Milton Keynes Council, said: “We recognise that most EV owners want to charge at home, so helping people do this breaks down one of the key barriers to owning an EV.

We are delighted that Wavendon House has become the first MK Promise met by Milton Keynes Council. We are expecting to deliver more of these over the coming months, with many requests already in the pipeline for delivery.”

Milton Keynes has often been held up as an example of positive initatives to support EV take-up, having built the UK’s first brand neutral centre for EVs to educate residents and visitors and offer test drives of a range of EVs on the market.

Free parking is provided for EVs in the city centre, while Chargemaster was awarded a £2.3 million contract in December 216 to deliver hundreds of public and on-street chargers across the town, as well as rapid charging hubs.

David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster, said: “The MK Promise initiative from Milton Keynes Council is a fantastic way to ensure that as many EV drivers as possible, even those without dedicated off-street parking, can charge conveniently close to home.

“We are delighted to see our partnership with Milton Keynes Council continue to lead the way in making driving an EV as easy as possible, and hope that other local authorities are inspired by their commitment.”

In its recent Taking Charge report, The Renewable Energy Association called on other local authorities to make the ‘MK Promise’ after member analysis suggested that such efforts had contributed to the development of ‘a vibrant private company-led EV infrastructure network’ in the Netherlands, thought to be one of the European leaders in electric vehicles and infrastructure deployment.

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