by Caroline De Beaumont - CSR

#GREENSTORIES: 4 electric cars, 12 cities, a 16-day low-carbon road trip for 1 purpose

With the fleet including two Renault ZOE’s, the EVRT Team included 11 environmental enthusiasts who set off on a road trip in Europe to create awareness about energy, sustainability and a cleaner future. The adventure started in central London at the ‘E-Mobility Conference’ on April 25th with visits to Bordeaux, Madrid, Montpellier, Turin, Padova, Zagreb, Munich, Berlin, Tilburg and Paris along the way, finishing with the second “E-Mobility Conference” in Paris on 10th May. Since Global EVRT's establishment in 2015, they obviously have had many stories along the way to share!

Four questions to Ben Pullen, Co-Founder & Managing Director

You say, “The EVRT is a 'road trip with a difference, we provide information on electric vehicles in a fun and engaging way on the road and at conferences”. How do you communicate about energy and sustainability in a fun and engaging way?

With so many different messages and opinions out in the public domain on 'sustainability' we know that people need to be engaged in a new and exciting way. Most people don't know how advanced electric vehicle technology is, and that it's ready to be adopted, so we take people away from their computers or the classroom and put them behind the wheel in beautiful landscapes! Our road trips have the unique combination of experiencing new electric vehicle technology plus adventure, creating a memorable learning experience! Not only do participants of the cars learn through their driving, but we host conferences along the way on e-mobility, energy and sustainable transport, as well as workshops, factory visits and generally encouraging progressive dialogue and discussions on these topics throughout the trip. Driving smoothly, silently and sustainably through the stunning French Alps whilst discussing sustainable transport really is a once in a life-time experience!

From these unforgettable experiences the people who join our road trips become life-long electric vehicle advocates, spreading awareness of EVs and their experiences far and wide. We know that word of mouth and storytelling is the best form of promotion for the cars, so we act as a catalyst in pushing the EV market forward by creating these experiences for people to share.

Through our conferences we provide a platform for the key stakeholders in the market, so they can meet and come together in one place at one time to enhance communication, challenge each other and work together to fill in the necessary gaps that are holding the market back and inhibiting its development. The unique element here is that these topics are not being discussed as openly; we often find our events are the first electric vehicle focused events in that city to take place. Placing these events on the route of our road trip of course adds a fun element as attendees hear our stories and feel part of a wider adventure in pushing the electric vehicle market forward!

Why did you start this project? What values do you want to communicate to people?

I believe that people make the right choices when given the right tools and knowledge, and we are in an exciting period in time where we have the right technologies and ability to educate effectively in an engaging way through adventure and experiential events. Thanks to companies like Renault we now have electric vehicles that can be used for everyday driving and for long distance road trips like the ESCP Europe EVRT. Our main objective is to showcase these vehicles and technologies and demonstrate that it’s possible to drive in a sustainable way without compromise, inspiring people to make the transition towards sustainable transport, whether that's buying an electric car or making smart choices for their business to support the EV market.

What motivates people to switch to electric vehicle according to your experience and the feedback you received?

The main reason that the people we meet want to switch to an electric vehicle is because of the smooth driving experience and quick acceleration. People like the experience of driving such an intelligent car that drives quickly but safely and has all sorts of other gadgets to give users a really enjoyable driving experience – these have been especially appreciated on our long road trip! We’ve already made the switch to smart-phones, and the move to an electric vehicle feels the same inevitable and life changing move. We also find that almost everyone that we speak to wants to reduce their impact on the environment too, lowering carbon emissions and improving air quality, especially in urban areas, where the air pollution is getting quite bad in many European cities.

Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?

Our two established Global EVRT events are the ESCP Europe EVRT and the Emirates EVRT (which will grow into the Middle East EVRT next year). We are also in discussions with potential partners for Global EVRT events in Cost Rica, South Africa, India, China, South America, and the United Kingdom.

#GREENSTORIES – Groupe Renault backs initiatives run by people with a strong environmental commitment. Check out their stories, projects and initiatives on groupe.renault.com

Tags: environment