MK introduces free parking for EVs

Milton Keynes has launched the first green-vehicle permit offering 15,000 electric cars free parking.

Drivers of electric cars will also soon be able to use bus lanes in the city.

These are the first measures introduced as part of a government-backed initiative worth £9m over five years to turn Milton Keynes into a Go Ultra Low City and encourage wider uptake of low emission vehicles.

The free parking scheme, which will also include drop off bays at railway stations and short-stay shopping bays, was launched last week by Transport Minister Andrew Jones.

He said, ‘Thanks to the £9m of funding, thousands of local residents will now be able to park their electric cars for free. This grant will also help to create an Electric Vehicle Experience Centre in the city and open up bus lanes to electric car drivers.’

The parking is available to any vehicle producing less than 75g/km of CO2 and capable of covering ten miles in pure-electric mode alone, meaning some plug-in hybrid owners will also benefit.

Along with electric-only cars like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla range, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV also qualifies for a Green Parking Permit, as do some hybrid supercars, including the 356bhp BMW i8 and 875bhp Porsche 918 Spyder, which cost £104,000 and £625,000 respectively.

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said: ‘We’re excited to see this first phase of Milton Keynes Go Ultra Low Cities bid take shape as it brings real benefits to electric vehicle drivers across the region.

‘This announcement marks the beginning of a new era for the city as it embraces ultra low emission motoring.’

Bristol, London and Nottingham have also been named as Go Ultra Low Cities by the government, and it was revealed in January that London will have access to £13m to prioritise ultra-low emission vehicles in several boroughs across the capital.

This will include electric streets in Hackney with car-charging street lamps and parking and traffic-dodging benefits for EV drivers in Harrow.

Bristol and Nottingham will use £7 and £6 million respectively to boost the number of chargers in each city and discount parking in the areas.