Does every city need an "Electric Vehicle Experience Centre"?

EV Experience Centre photo
Video screen capture Fully Charged

It's not a showroom. It's an educational experience.

When I wrote about driving an old Nissan Leaf into the mountains, I was surprised by how many people I know needed some very basic education:

"Is that even possible?"
"How long did it take to charge?"
"I didn't even know there were charging stations around..."

Even though electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace by the minute, and even though I continue to insist that my 80+ mile range Nissan Leaf is the most practical around-town car I've owned, there are understandable concerns and misconceptions about what life with a plug-in car might be like. (This is one of the reasons I like to lend my Leaf to friends.)

In Milton Keynes, in the UK, shoppers have an interesting option for getting these questions answered. The EV Experience Centre (yes, that spelling is correct) is not a showroom, and it's brand agnostic. It allows would-be drivers to come in, ask questions, and take a test drive without the pressure to buy. Staff can share the pros and cons of different models, and advise on the relative benefits of battery electric versus plug-in hybrids for example—without fear that they are trying to push a particular solution on the consumer. No word in the video on whether the experience includes eBikes and cargo bikes, but it sure would be nice if it did...

Assuming there's enough interest, visitors can even take a car home and live with it for a few days for a nominal fee. (Their goal is to have close to 100 vehicles by the end of the year.) And once they are ready to explore a purchase, they get passed on to a dealership as a pretty 'warm' lead. The project is a partnership between charging network operator Chargemaster PLC and Milton Keynes city council.

Check out Fully Charged's recent visit below. And, if you haven't already, consider supporting them on Patreon.

"Welcome to the future. Welcome to Milton Keynes."

Does every city need an "Electric Vehicle Experience Centre"?
It's not a showroom. It's an educational experience.

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