Creating an effective rapid electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Milton Keynes Council worked with the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles to build a large charging station to support the growth of electric vehicles across the area.
The rapid charging hub has been developed to create an experience similar to a traditional petrol station – lots of charging bays, canopies, and a comfortable area to easily access charging facilities. This pioneering project was part of a five-year program to improve electric charging infrastructure across Milton Keynes.
We began developing the project in 2017, working with specialist partners to design and deliver the facility, and the charging station opened its doors in March 2019. Located next to a motorway junction, on the busiest road in Milton Keynes, the hub occupies a prominent position, making it highly visible to both local residents and passing traffic. The location is also home to a coach hub and park-and-ride facilities, welcoming a significant number of visitors each day.
The site offers access to 9 rapid charging posts, 4 very high-power chargers, and 6 fast chargers, in addition to 400 further charging posts across the town. This provides easy access to charging for electric vehicle drivers across the local area as well as showing people who are thinking about making the switch that charging doesn’t have to be a chore.
The charging station was developed alongside a project called the EV Experience Centre – a one-stop shop for people interested in learning more about electric vehicles. Located in our regional shopping centre, it is staffed by EV experts and gives visitors the chance to explore the latest technology and have their biggest electric vehicle questions answered.
We’ve been pleased to see the charging station evolve as electric vehicle use has grown. We now have a local firm running electric minibuses and we’ve added overnight fast chargers to support their needs. We have also partnered with the onsite service area cafeteria to offer a discount to drivers.
The hub is now a truly multifunctional site, supporting private motorists, taxi firms, and fleet operators. We’re also in talks to add flexible office facilities to provide space for drivers to work while their vehicles are charging.
Milton Keynes Council is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050. This project and others like it are helping us to reach this ambitious goal, reducing carbon emissions across the area by making it easier to access electric vehicle charging while improving air quality across the town.
Create a usable, multi-functional site –
We’ve learned from this project that you have to adapt as opportunities arise. We’ve worked hard to make the hub comfortable and accessible while opening it up to as many types of electric vehicle users as possible.
Make charging simple –
It’s important to find ways to make charging simple, accessible, and not feel like a chore or waste of time. This includes deploying opportunity charging points in places where people would be visiting anyway – shopping centres or leisure facilities – and ensuring that dedicated charging hubs are easy to find and use.
Our Metrics –
• Number of charging hub users.
• Carbon emissions saved.