Road map for electric vehicles in Milton Keynes (UK)

Milton Keynes Council and the Renault-Nissan Alliance passed a major milestone for the future of greener driving in Milton Keynes by signing a definitive agreement, which sets out a road map for the roll-out of electric vehicles and infrastructure in the Borough.

The agreement forms part of the council’s Low Carbon Living agenda which aims to put Milton Keynes at the forefront of low carbon living nationally and internationally. Last year, Milton Keynes signed up to the Joined-Cities Plan which will create a network of electric car recharging points across the country.

Earlier this year, Milton Keynes Council secured funding through the Government’s £30-million Plugged-in-Places scheme to help build the charging infrastructure.

Today’s agreement, which was signed at the iconic Milton Keynes Theatre, details the commitments that both parties are making in order to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in Milton Keynes: The council will support the development of a network of charging posts and the Renault-Nissan Alliance will make electric vehicles available for the public to buy.

Under the agreement, Milton Keynes Council will facilitate the installation of 430 electric vehicle charging points in a mixture of public and private locations in the city, plus up to 2,000 points in homes. Drivers will receive local incentives to switch to electric vehicles, such as free charging and free parking at city centre posts, as well as national Government incentives which could include up to £5,000 towards the cost of an electric car.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance, in its partnership with Milton Keynes, has agreed to place priority on requests for electric vehicles in the UK from Milton Keynes.

Nissan will supply the Nissan LEAF, the world’s first affordable electric vehicle for the global mass market with lithium ion batteries. Nissan LEAF will go on sale in Japan, the US and select markets in Europe in late 2010 and will be available in Milton Keynes from early 2011.

Designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery-powered chassis, the medium-size hatchback comfortably seats five adults and has a range of 160 km (100 miles – US-LA 4 mode) to satisfy real-world consumer requirements. European technical support for the launch of LEAF will be centred at Nissan’s Technical Centre in Cranfield, which is located close to Milton Keynes and is part of Nissan’s global vehicle design and development network and home to Nissan’s 750-strong UK design, development and support team.

Kunio Nakaguro, Senior Vice President and head of European R&D at Nissan International SA, commented on the signing: “We applaud Milton Keynes Council for its foresight in seizing the opportunity to bid for central government funding to build the electric charging points necessary for electric cars. Today’s agreement demonstrates that by working together, local government and EV car manufacturers like the Renault-Nissan Alliance can create the right framework for electric vehicles to succeed.”

Renault’s launch into the zero-emission electric vehicle arena in England begins in mid-2011 with the launch of two models from an initial four-model affordable Z.E. family.

The two models are the Kangoo Van Z.E., a light commercial vehicle, and the twoseater city car Twizy Z.E. In 2012, the four-door Fluence Z.E. and the five-door supermini Zoe Z.E. will be launched.

Roland Bouchara, Renault UK’s Managing Director, said, “In partnership with Nissan we are excited to be working with Milton Keynes Council as one of the first to be involved with Plugged-in-Places programme. The agreement between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Milton Keynes Council presents a great opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of our range of electric vehicles in a realistic environment and is a significant step towards our goal of bringing affordable electric mobility to the mass market.”

David Hill, Milton Keynes Council’s Chief Executive said, “We are delighted to be working with the Renault-Nissan Alliance to give Milton Keynes people the opportunity to be at the forefront of electric vehicle use. We have always been a pioneer for green technologies and initiatives, and this agreement is yet another positive step for Milton Keynes as a showcase low carbon city.”

Milton Keynes has to reduce its carbon emissions to meet its own targets, within the Government’s national indicators. The Low Carbon Living agenda is led by Milton Keynes Council and supported by Milton Keynes Partnership. Milton Keynes has a Carbon Reduction Management Structure, bringing together various projects and initiatives including travel, transport, development and energy production and usage and aims to put the city at the forefront of low carbon living nationally and internationally.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2009, a year in which it sold more than six million vehicles. The Alliance’s objective is to rank among the top three global carmakers on quality, technology and profitability. It is working on collaborative projects with institutions, governments and businesses, to which it contributes its automotive expertise.

More than 50 agreements have thus far been signed worldwide, aimed at developing electric vehicles for as early as 2010 and marketing these vehicles widely from 2012.