Chargemaster’s new electric vehicle showroom will give customers the unvarnished truth about EVs
The Electric Vehicle Experience Centre in Milton Keynes will display electric cars from BMW i, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault and Volkswagen
The UK’s first dedicated showroom for electric cars will open its doors today in Milton Keynes, giving potential buyers a chance to explore the technology first-hand before taking the plunge.
The 4,000 square foot Electric Vehicle Experience Centre, funded by Milton Keynes’ council, is the UK’s first multi-brand EV showroom and will display current electric models on sale from BMW i, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault and Volkswagen.
Its managers, EV charging firm Chargemaster, want it to be a “relaxed setting” for curious drivers to learn more about electric vehicle ownership, with sales staff on hand to brief visitors on common concerns such as charging availability, cost and vehicle range.
Unlike traditional car showrooms, staff won’t be paid on commission and have been instructed to be upfront with visitors about the benefits – and challenges – of EV ownership. “Becoming the UK’s first multi-brand EV showroom, it will provide a destination for visitors to make an informed decision about owning an EV, without the pressure of having to make an immediate purchase decision,” Chargemaster chief executive David Martelll said in a statement.
“We hope that this buying platform will change the way that electric vehicles are sold in cities and we’re proud to be working with Milton Keynes and Go Ultra Low to deliver this to the public,” he added.
Elsewhere in Milton Keynes, the local authority is installing EV charging hubs, free parking for EVs and more support for workplace and home charging, in a bid to transform the town into one of the country’s leading electric vehicle hubs.
In related news, Dutch charging company Allego confirmed this week it is the partner company in oil giant Shell’s plan to roll out EV charging at its service stations across the UK and Holland.
Shell’s downstream director John Abbott announced earlier this year that by the end of this year it will have installed 10 fast-charging points at forecourts across the UK, capable of charging a car to 80 per cent in around 30 minutes. More units will follow in 2018, Abbott said.
Allego’s chief executive Anja van Niersen said Shell’s contribution will significantly improve EV access for the public, whatever brand of car they are driving. “We see that people are willing to shift towards electric mobility,” she said in a statement. “But a lack of appropriate level of charging infrastructure and interoperable charging services is one of their main concerns.”
“Allego and Shell join forces by adding fast chargers at the right service stations,” she continued. “Shell now actively contributes in creating a reliable and open charging network. A network that is accessible for all EV drivers, despite the brand of the car.”