A-to-Z EV Rally: Team Women Drive Electric


Thanks to industry collaboration, the all-female team of Women Drive Electric are joining the EV Rally this year. With a desire to make EVs appealing and attainable for females, as well as promote gender diversity in the fleet sector, GREENFLEET talks to George Thurman about who is on the team and how preparations are going

Please tell us about Women Drive Electric?

Powered by an ambition to connect female consumers with the automotive industry, Women Drive Electric has created a real-world community, connecting experienced female EV drivers and experts with women searching for answers and inspiration as part of the transition to electric vehicles. The community currently stands at an astounding 3K women with high levels of engagement, all supporting each other. 

Female founders, Michelle Breffitt and myself George Thurman are passionate about encouraging women to talk cars with confidence. Believing that by providing a safe space for women to share their EV driving experiences they can generate higher valued opinions and more useful peer-recommendations for women looking to make the switch.

In addition, by celebrating women working in the EV tech or automotive industry and shining a light on women who write car reviews or create EV content, Women Drive Electric can signpost its members to straight-talking information and resources acknowledging there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to car ownership or driving for women. 

We are delighted that Women Drive Electric is joining us on the EV Rally for the first time this year. Could you tell us why you decided to participate?

I find there is a great sense of warmth, support and teamwork within the women of the EV industry and it was at the GreenFleet awards last year that this really shone through for me.

Being voted #88 most influential in the GreenFleet 100 propelled me into the fleet world and highlighted the disconnect that can occur between a fleet decision and the end user.  

We have had many members join Women Drive Electric looking for guidance as they have not received any from employers who are moving to a greener vehicle solution. I can’t think of a better way to tackle this than go experience it for ourselves. 

After talking to Colin I expressed the idea of an all female team to promote our message of encouraging women to try driving electric.   

The rally is also a perfect opportunity to showcase women in automotive demonstrating that not all jobs are technical or engineering based, there are roles for all, and that part of it can be exciting events such as we are participating in over this week. 

We then made it known within the industry that we were doing this, and a big shout out to Clare Nicol of Compleo for putting her hand/wallet up first! With the support of Colin and the GreenFleet team we have managed to secure a collaboration of sponsors – The AA, Compleo, EZ-Charge and Formula Space. We are so grateful to them all. 

And now here we are – let the planning commence!!! 

Please tell us about your team - who will be driving and in what vehicles?

We are very excited to have The Women in Tesla wrapped Model Y show car, it will certainly be an eye catcher on the roads!

As for drivers in addition to Michelle and myself we have Liz Allen of Full Circle completing the team for Women Drive Electric. 

Our kind sponsors and partners are our other drivers – Kirsty Pendleton at The AA, Clare Nicol from Compleo, Theresa Swift at Formula space and Helen Masters of EZ-Charge. We also have some special guests planned including Gill Nowell, Kate Tyrell and Jess Shanahan.

We are all mucking in on the driving and sharing rooms so there will be lots of fun to be had and we look forward to the adventure and seeing spots of England we have not been to yet, hoping to see some of the wonderful ladies in community. It will be great to see what female EV fleet drivers experience driving around the country and how we can help Fleet managers make the transition easier. 

We can’t wait to meet female users at the charge points, spread our message and recruit both for the group and the automotive industry. 

The Rally is over 1,400 miles and this year will be visiting towns and checkpoints from A to Z in alphabetical order. What do you expect the challenges to be, and are you going into the Rally with a strategy?

We are very fortunate that usings Tesla’s amazing charging network will be a big advantage for us over the rally.  This will enable us to visit some venues for features, content and say hello to some of our Ladies in Women Drive Electric.

The whole point of the rally is to show off the charging infrastructure so we plan to use all types of chargers we come across too. The next barrier will be the tiredness of whoever shares with me - I snore!

We have lots of different drivers so it’s a free for all on performance and energy usage. It’s important not to have a heavy foot or get carried away when we have the tunes on!

There are lots of exciting stops planned so we look forward to those and meeting members of the public – especially women thinking about making the move to electric. The most important thing for us is to share our message, collaborate and have fun.

Is there a particular message you will be promoting on the rally? 

We want to show that women aren’t always on the school run or shopping, that they can also partake in a car rally work event like this too. It’s important to demonstrate how EVs can be used as a work vehicle and be used for commuting or as part of a fleet. The end user is often overlooked when moving over to electric and we are there to help and support those employees steer their own journey to electric, as an advantage for them in their personal use also.

The advantage of the female team is that we are all quite friendly and chatty, happy to answer questions and open to showing other women what a great community the EV Industry can be in regards to a career change. We desperately need more women in automotive as a whole so this is a great way to build awareness. 

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

These sorts of events are important for showing how suited EVs can be to different needs. Electric isn’t right for everyone but for those who are it’s an amazing way to save money, support a cleaner environment for our children and future generations. The high uptake of fleet orders is the perfect way to showcase this. I’m excited to see the large array of vehicles on show. 

Please tell us about Women Drive Electric's future plans?

2024 has been a crazy one already – together we have exhibited at Everything Electric in London and Harrogate, we have South still to go in October and the British Motor Show in August, in collaboration with the driven women campaign. We've also had articles in Bodyshop magazine, and numerous automotive newsletters

Michelle has been on panels at the Evening Standard Launch of Omoda, the Automotive 30 % club, been featured in Hello!, the Evening Standard and The Daily Mail, Live on Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine and a Keynote speaker for Nissan on International Womens Day. 

I have been honoured with Top Women in Ev – Customer Satisfaction and voted #88 most influential in GreenFleet’s top 100. 10 minutes with Modern Insurance magazine, a feature for Muddy Stilettos online and an exciting video collaboration with Ora for In women’s day. 

We are currently working on our website development, and along with shows we have a busy year planned helping women try electric and get their questions answered. We are buzzing !

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