The TEDGlobal 2013 edition held in Edinburgh from June 10-14 drew some 900 participants.The Renault-Nissan Alliance partnered this year’s event. Everyone got to see – but not hear – Renault Twizy and ZOE and Nissan Leaf models in the streets of the city. As well as providing TED participants with a shuttle service, the Alliance offered people “first-time experiences” in its cars to show them all the qualities of electric mobility.
For those unfamiliar with the event, TEDGlobal, short for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a series of not-for-profit conferences on a range of topics spanning the arts, science, politics, global issues, architecture and music. It is the European version of the famous TED Talks conference. The speakers are as diverse as the subjects, with past guests including Bill Clinton and Bono. Each TEDGlobal event features a new theme, this year’s being “Think Again”.
The large majority of the conference goers are interested in new technologies and the future of the world, and as such are generally well kitted out with smartphones, laptops and tablets. The problem is that their batteries have limited charge. Which is why the Renault-Nissan Alliance came up with the snappy idea of letting them charge their electronic devices for free on its stand.
In terms of special animations, the Alliance stand was graced by a bisected Renault ZOE. The aim of the original piece was to show people how the electric system works and how the batteries recharge when the car is in motion, through energy recovery during braking and deceleration. Also on the stand was the Nissan Leaf, accompanied by a terminal explaining the “Leaf to Home” system, whereby the recharged car can be used to electrify households during power outages.
Philippe Schultz, Renault expert leader in the environment, energy and raw materials, also gave a talk at TEDGlobal. He encouraged people to think about their oil dependence and the importance of electric cars to current and future mobility. “Oil is a finite resource,” he said. “We don’t know when it will run out, but it will.” He also highlighted the safety of electric vehicles, how pleasant they are to drive and their increasing affordability. The next transport revolution is already under way – as seen in the ballet of Alliance electric vehicles in the streets of Edinburgh during the event.