UK’s largest EV rapid charging hub opens in Milton Keynes

The UK’s largest universal rapid charging hub for electric vehicles (EVs) has opened in Milton Keynes.

The hub, which is being operated by BP Chargemaster, includes eight 50kW rapid chargers at the site just off the M1 and has already been used to charge more than 500 electric vehicles since it went live.

Milton Keynes Council and the contractors Ringway designed and constructed the hub as part of its Go Ultra Low City programme. Funding for the project came from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), as part of a £9m investment package to support the growth of electric vehicles in Milton Keynes.

The charging hub was officially opened earlier this week with the cutting of a green ribbon by Cllr Martin Petchey, Mayor of Milton Keynes, along with Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation at Milton Keynes Council, and David Martell, Chief Executive of BP Chargemaster.

Brian Matthews, head of transport innovation at Milton Keynes Council, said: ‘We are very proud of this important new facility for electric vehicle drivers, both in Milton Keynes and those passing on a longer journey.

‘The rapid charging hub is just one of the ways in which we are supporting electric vehicle drivers in Milton Keynes, with other initiatives including free parking with a Green Permit in most car parks, and our pledge to provide local charging points for residents who do not have off-street parking.’

Meanwhile, a survey released by motoring magazine What Car? this week showed that there is still work to be done before the general public is fully on board with the transition towards electric vehicles.

For their research, the motoring magazine surveyed 9000 motorists over three months and asked them to rate their own understanding of electric vehicles as they researched the technology.

Buyers rated their initial knowledge at an average of 2.7 out of five during the first 10 days, rising to 3.4 after 10 days of research.

However, understanding fell to 3.3 after a month of research, which What Car? believe suggests that some respondents came across confusing or conflicting information. After three months, the average understanding peaked at 3.8, which is the same figure that motorists came up with when asked what their initial knowledge of petrol and diesel cars was.

What Car? says this means that it takes, on average, a consumer three months to obtain the same level of information to close the ‘knowledge gap’ on petrol or diesel vehicles.