Live in Milton Keynes and Own an EV? Get Ready for Free Charging!

Former Milton Keynes Mayor, Keith McLean, with his BMW i3 and new Electric Nation smart charger

Milton Keynes residents who are fortunate enough to own an Electric vehicle (EV) will benefit from free smart chargers provided by the Electric Nation project.

One such person is Keith McLean - one of the first Electric Nation participants in Milton Keynes to have a smart charger installed for his BMW i3. The former Milton Keynes mayor, says “I’m delighted to be able to help with the Electric Nation research project, which aims to ensure that the UK’s local electricity networks can continue to charge the ever-growing numbers of electric vehicles. This 7kW smart charger is one of the latest, most intelligent on the market and can provide useful data on your charging history – as well as being able to charge an EV up to twice as fast as a 3kW home charge point. It has the most up to date functionality, with software updates being carried out remotely.”

While in office Keith put several electric vehicles through their paces, and was impressed with how easily they could be used in a city that at the time had over 200 public charging points.

And in his new role working for Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, all of Keiths journeys will be within the local Borough, underlining his decision to purchase an electric BMW i3, and join the Electric Nation project.

A BMW spokesman said: “Since its launch in 2013 the BMW i3 has been at the vanguard of electromobility. Since that time we have sold more than 100,000 electric vehicles globally, a figure we will achieve again this year alone, such is the uptake. We are therefore delighted to support the Electric Nation trial with a view to wider use of low and zero emission vehicles in the future and the development of a smarter charging infrastructure.”

Electric Nation is a Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Network Innovation Allowance funded project. WPD’s collaboration partners in the project are EA Technology, DriveElectric, Lucy Electric GridKey and TRL. Taking place in the WPD network areas in the Midlands, South West and South Wales which also includes Milton Keynes. The scheme has been awarded £9m of Go Ultra Low funding to highlight the benefits of electric vehice ownership as well as encourage the increased uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.

The project is seeking to recruit 500-700 people buying or leasing new electric vehicles (of all makes and models, pure electric and plug-in hybrids) to take part in the largest trial of its kind. Trial participants will get a free* (subject to conditions) smart charger installed.

Looking for an electric vehicle? Read the essential Lookers guide here.

By Tracey McBain