AUNIQUE rally is set to demonstrate how Scotland is gearing up for a greener future.
Promising to be one of the most attention-grabbing events during the global climate change conference in Glasgow this year, the EV Rally Of Scotland (EVROS) will demonstrate the capability of electric vehicles – as well as prove that the infrastructure already exists to support them.
It aims to drive home the fact that EVs are not only fit for small journeys and will showcase how the charging network in Scotland exists even in remote places.
Setting off from Glasgow and coinciding with COP26 in November, the event will involve some of the world’s leading EV manufacturers who will bring their state-of-the-art electric vehicles to tackle a 1200-plus mile cross country “e-tour” of Scotland.
“The fight for a greener future has never been as important as it is today, and EVROS has an important role to play,” said rally organiser Colin Boyton of PSI Group’s GREENFLEET Events.
“E-mobility and the decarbonisation of transport is seen as a key element to help drive the shift towards net zero and the rally has been designed to show that when it comes to EV use, Scotland and the rest of the UK are leading the way.
“What we are trying to prove is that EVs are not going away and are more than capable of being your everyday family car or your everyday work vehicle, be that car or van.”
Boyton pointed out that the range and the technology of today’s EVs is far superior to the first generation that hit UK roads almost a decade ago and are now more than capable of driving in excess of 200 miles on one charge.
Day three of the rally will, in fact, involve 320 miles of driving and the cars will leave fully charged and only need a small top up somewhere mid-route.
The rally is also intended to highlight that off street parking is not necessary to own an EV.
“I am one of the 27% of the UK population that does not have access to off street parking so therefore for me to own an EV I need to be fully reliant on the public charging network,” said Boyton.
“The way we have structured this rally is that there will be no overnight charging for any of the vehicles involved so the drivers and co-drivers will have to plan their routes every day and stop and charge where they need to. That will highlight how well Transport Scotland has put together the charge point network in order to make this kind of driving viable.
“We are proving that even if you don’t have access to off street parking you can still live and work with an EV every day, using the charging that already exists and which is only going to get better.”
Efficiency rather than speed is the rally watchword as efficient driving maximises the potential of an EV.
With more than 30-years of driver training experience under his belt, ‘EV Keith’, an instructor from DriveTech, will navigate the Rally in a VW ID.3, setting the bar for those that might want to have a go at challenging his considerable skills.
As well as stopping at EV charge points and clean energy projects at key locations over the five days, the rally will also take in some of Scotland’s most scenic locations.
“Participants will stop at each checkpoint, take a picture and share it across the various social media platforms, using pre-defined #hashtags, to spread the word that EVs are here, they’re viable and are future-proofing the world we live in,” said Boyton.
“It’s a really good opportunity for those involved to put out some very positive messages and that is what we intend to do.”
The rally will also feature special interviews from some of the UK’s leading EV enthusiasts and innovators.
Between the group’s own social media accounts, those of the participating sponsors and media partners, The Herald, the organisers are expecting well in excess of 600,000 followers on Twitter, more than 500,000 on Instagram and around 400,000 on LinkedIn.
The organisers are inviting EV enthusiasts to join in the fun, meet them at the checkpoints, chat to the drivers and help spread the word.
The participating manufacturers and sponsors of the event are Polestar, Kia, Maxus and Stellantis, comprising a vehicle each from Citroen, Peugeot, DS, Vauxhall and Fiat.
EV charging specialist, SWARCO, who manage the ChargePlace Scotland network, are the official charging and innovation partner, and they are joined by Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP), where the rally will stop to find out what MSIP are doing in their transition to a net zero economy.
The AA are the roadside assistance partner and have recently introduced a dedicated EV support service. They will have their patrol of the year following the rally, should any of the drivers have any issues, and completing the AA line-up is their new, innovative hydrogen refuelling van.
With EV leasing being one of the ways of financing an EV, be it for work or private use, the rally is joined by leasing and financing specialists Vanarama.
Support on the rally comes from Maxus, providing an all-electric eDeliver3 van to the organiser’s crew, while Polestar are providing the staff and media support. And finally, Western Commercial will be providing an innovative nine-seater all-electric minibus to the organisers, in the shape of a Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer.
Scottish thrillseeker has the future of EV motoring mapped out
EV adventurer Chris Ramsey is the rally’s frontman and will lead the media side of the epic journey.
Set to become the first man to travel pole-to-pole in an EV next year, the Scot said he “jumped at the chance” of leading the way in his homeland.
Over the last seven years, he has been a pioneer of overland and endurance electric vehicle adventures and through engaging social media content and videos, has taken audiences across continents and through 20 countries on a series of epic world firsts.
The best known of these is his 10,000 mile adventure in a Nissan LEAF electric car in 2017, when he shared with the public his journey through countries including Romania, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia.
This adventure lead to global media attention and was covered by leading outlets such as CNN International, Sky News and BBC Top Gear. Away from adventuring, he is an enthusiastic speaker and presenter working with a number of businesses and broadcasting organisations.
He is also a passionate advocate of sustainable transport solutions, renewable energy and promotes awareness of climate change while supporting and raising money for the charity WWF Scotland.
“With a 10,000-mile Mongol Rally in an EV under his belt, Chris is certainly best placed to offer an extensive insight into EV use in general and at the same time offer a unique insight into EVs and also charging infrastructure in Scotland,” said rally organiser Colin Boyton.
“But while the messaging is serious, with some truly unbelievable stats and information set to come out, the rally is also going to be bags of fun too.”
He pointed out that with three Guinness World Record holding eco-drivers amongst the prestigious driver line-up, it could become quite competitive over the five days. Live progress of the rally will be broadcast online, meaning anyone can tune in and watch the vehicles and look ahead to the checkpoints.
“Beginning and ending in the home of COP26, Glasgow, the rally is a unique event, never been seen before in the UK,” said Boyton.
For more information please visit www.evros.uk