These eco-conscious architects are practising what they preach - applying sustainability principles to their choice of car, not just their building designs.
(L-R: Paul Stephenson, Commercial Director at MCK, Martin Richardson, Operations Director, Stephen Kay, Technical Director and Peter Miller, Design Director)
MCK Associates is an award-winning architectural design company based in Preston, Lancs.
Classing itself as a ‘traditional architectural practice’ they’ll tackle any project, however big or small, from domestic extensions to multi-million-pound commercial developments.
At the forefront of minds is creating designs that are environmentally friendly while often working within conservation areas.
And now the directors at MCK have put their money where their mouths are - taking delivery of a fleet of new all-electric, zero emissions BMW iXs as their company cars.
The futuristic electric vehicles, or ‘EVs’, have been leased through UK firm Select Car Leasing’s Preston office.
Paul Stephenson, Commercial Director at MCK, explains:
“As architects, by necessity we must be clued-up sustainability issues.
“Everything we design must have sustainability factored-in, and it’s become something of an ethos of the company itself. For example, all new dwellings must have electric car charging points fitted by law.
“So, it’s only right that the directors here should drive an electric car as well.”
The other members of the MCK team who are now driving a BMW iX are Martin Richardson, Operations Director, Stephen Kay, Technical Director and Peter Miller, Design Director.
The iX is Paul’s first ever experience of an EV.
“In the past we shied away from company cars, as the Government tends to hammer you when it comes to Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax. But an electric car is very attractive from a business point of view when it comes to Benefit in Kind, and the iX is a great car.
“I do consider myself a bit of a petrolhead, having driven all sorts of combustion engine cars, including Porsches, Audis and a Carterham track vehicle. Before the BMW iX, I had a diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake.
“And, yes, the thought of going to an electric car did scare me at first, particularly when it comes to so-called ‘range anxiety’. But in reality, the iX really is a next-level experience. I’ve adapted to it better than I anticipated.
“Charging at home is like having your own personal petrol station. As long as you think ahead, it’s easy to manage, and the performance is more than adequate.”
The majority of the work MCK Associates takes on is in the North West, though they also operate nationally.
“The beauty of our job is that every single project is different, so there’s always a new and interesting challenge.
“The variety keeps us all fresh and engaged.”
Tony Cameron, Principal of the Preston Office, says he's delighted to have helped MCK deliver their zero emissions ambitions, revealing how the firm has been leasing for clients for 20 years.
Steven Clarke, Select Principal at Preston, adds: "MCK have been clients of ours for some years now, so it’s great to see the directors behind the wheel of a truly unique fleet of vehicles - each with their own matching company number plates, too!”
The iX has a range of up to 380 miles between charges. Top-of-the-range iX xDrive50 M models also have power of 523 hp and an ultra-rapid 0-62mph acceleration time of just 4.6 seconds.
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