A-to-Z EV Rally: Team OVO


Returning for a third year, GREENFLEET caught up with OVO's Alex Thwaites to find out how planning for the EV Rally is going, and how they hope to showcase positive stories around electric vehicles

This is the third year that OVO will have participated in the EV Rally and we are delighted you are joining us again. What made you decide to get involved this year?

It was a no brainer for OVO! We love the event and what it represents, showcasing the great work in developing and growing the public charging infrastructure across the UK, giving consumers confidence that if they switch to an EV they do not need to be concerned with range anxiety.

It’s also a fantastic engagement tool for our own OVO people; we swap drivers at the end of every day so even more of our people get the opportunity to take part – we love being able to offer this.

Please tell us about Team OVO – who is driving and in what vehicles?

As highlighted above, we swap drivers and co-pilots every day, so across the four EVs, we will have around 40 people taking part in the rally.

In terms of what EVs we will be using, we split this with two vans and two cars, again so more people can get the opportunity to try different vehicles. We’ll have two Toyota Proace vans and two Volkswagen ID Buzz’s, with one support vehicle. 

The Rally is over 1,400 miles and this year will be visiting towns and checkpoints from A to Z in alphabetical order. As you have completed the rally before, what learnings will you be bringing with you to help you with your strategy this year?

It's not a race! We always want our drivers to be safe first and foremost. 

We will plan ahead, look at our vehicles' range, plan the route and ensure we have a couple of options for chargers along the way. We’ll be using the OVO Charge app to power our EVs on the rally so it should be lots of fun. 

How do you hope the charging infrastructure will have improved since last year?

Well we know a lot more chargers have been installed since last year so we know it will be even easier to find charging along the way. More rapid chargers are always a great thing. 

Why is renewable energy so important in the EV narrative - and how will Team OVO be highlighting this on the Rally?

OVO’s sustainability plan, “Plan Zero”, is our response to the climate crisis and sets out how we are going to become a net zero business by 2035. A huge part of delivering on that promise is the electrification of heat and transport, so renewable energy is super important to OVO. Plan zero steers every decision we make.

Why are events like the EV Rally important for the driving up EV adoption?

With so much negative media and fodder in the press, it’s really important that we continue to showcase positive stories around EVs, we have to support and educate consumers around all of the wonderful things the industry is doing to make switching to an EV easier than ever. So events like these are really important.

Please tell us about OVO's future plans and how it can help fleets with their net-zero ambitions?

As always, OVO has big and bold ambitions for the future. We are already over 50% electrified on our own fleet, but we also have some great tools to help other fleets electrify. As part of the acquisition of Bonnet in 2023, OVO now have some very cool B2B products all geared around supporting fleets, and critically fleet managers in the transition:

First is Dash, our fleet dashboard to simplify billing and VAT receipts for fleet drivers and managers.

The second is Alternator - this is a very cool product thats an SDK of the OVO Charge features, so basically with just four lines of code a company can mimic the OVO Charge experience within their own native app and power their drivers public charging.

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