The EV Rally Of Scotland
The EV Rally Of Scotland, setting off from Glasgow and coinciding with COP26, will test the capabilities of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure over some 1,200 miles of demanding Scottish terrain
The EV Rally Of Scotland (EVROS), taking place 8-12 November to coincide with COP26, aims to demonstrate the capability of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
By testing electric vehicles over 1,200 miles, covering some of Scotland’s most beautiful but sparse terrain, the rally will show that electric vehicles are not just suitable to those doing short journeys in urban areas, but are a viable alternative to traditional petrol and diesel vehicles.
The demanding journey will involve some of the world’s leading EV manufacturers, such as Polestar, Maxus, Kia, and Stellantis (Citroen, Peugeot, DS, Vauxhall and Fiat), showcasing the capabilities of their electric vehicles, as well as the functionality of Scotland’s public charging network.
EV adventurer Chris Ramsey is the rally’s frontman. Set to become the first man to travel pole-to-pole in an EV next year, the Scotsman said he “jumped at the chance” of leading the way in his homeland.
The rally will not allow overnight charging for any of the vehicles involved, so the teams will have to plan their routes every day so they can charge.
Most of the days will involve driving around 150 miles, but day three will be the most challenging, as teams will be covering over 300 miles through the rural Scottish Highlands.
The rally will highlight how well Transport Scotland has put together the charge point network in order to make this kind of driving viable. It will also prove that even if you don’t have access to off street parking, electric vehicle ownership is still an option.
As well as stopping at EV charge points, the teams will visit clean energy projects during the five days to showcase the UK’s impressive efforts towards transitioning towards a greener future.
Teams and partners
DriveTech will be joining the rally as Driver Training Partner, and putting forward ‘EV Keith’ to set the standard for everyone else to beat. As an instructor with decades of experience under his belt, he will demonstrate how driver style affects the performance of an EV, in the same way it does on an ICE vehicle. EV Keith will also be offering daily advice to fleet professionals on how to get the best out of their electric vehicle.
The AA joins the rally as Official Roadside Assistance Partner, offering reassurance should the teams get into trouble on the road.
Edmund King OBE, president of the AA is excited to get behind the wheel of a Polestar 2 as he takes part in the rally. He said: “The rally is helping to overcome some of those psychological barriers to electric vehicles. People worry that they won’t be able to do that one long trip a year. But this rally will be a real life exercise showing that you can use electric vehicles on long journeys, in the winter, and in sparse terrain.”
Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) is the rally’s Innovation Partner. MSIP is a joint venture between Michelin, Dundee City Council, and Scottish Enterprise, and aims to be a creative home for innovators, manufacturers and skills-leaders to collaborate on sustainable mobility and decarbonisation. As well as having the space for innovators, the Parc benefits from renewable energy from two wind turbines on site, and a waste to energy plant next door. The Rally will be calling in on the Parc as a checkpoint on day four where they can find out about the innovations on site and take the opportunity to charge their vehicle using SWARCO kit.
EV charging specialist, SWARCO, who manage the ChargePlace Scotland network, is the the event’s Charging and Innovation Partner. The company has installed more than 150 rapid chargers across Scotland and 1,837 chargepoints in total. This includes work with 30 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities and hundreds of private sector organisations.
Maxus is the event’s Logistics and Support Partner and will be providing an all-electric eDeliver3 van for the rally organisers to shift kit and equipment around the 1,200 electric mile course.
Western Commercial meanwhile will be providing an innovative nine-seater all-electric minibus - in the shape of a Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer - to the event organisers.
Electric performance brand Polestar joins the event as Media and Support Partner. Polestar aims to be fully climate-neutral, circular, and inclusive, and understands that transparency is the key to this. Sustainability is embedded in its strategic direction, and in the choices they make at the drawing board.
Jonathan Goodman, CEO of Polestar UK commented: “We at Polestar are passionate believers in promoting electric mobility and getting more people driving electric vehicles, so EVROS was a natural fit for us. The rally shows that electric vehicles are not just something for the future, they are available, and viable, now.”
Kia joins the rally as a Premium Partner and will be showcasing the capabilities of their electric vehicles, which sit at the heart of the company’s plans for the future. Under its new mid- to long-term ‘Plan S’ strategy, the Kia will launch seven dedicated new EV models by 2026.
Stellantis, formed from the merger of PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler, is another of the rally’s Premier Partners. The auto maker, which covers brands Peugeot, Citroen, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Vauxhall, Lancia, and DS, has said it will be spending 30 billion euros on EVs and software by 2025.
Vanarama joins EVROS as its Electric Vehicle Leasing Partner. Established by CEO Andy Alderson in 2004, the company now employs more than 230 people from its headquarters in Hertfordshire and remotely across the country. Offering cars as well as vans, the company allows businesses to take a flexible approach to electric adoption.
Spectators and participants will be able to track the progress of the rally through Webfleet Solutions technology, who are joining as the event’s Technology Partner. Their kit, which will be imbedded into the vehicles, will also be able to show how driving style affects the vehicles’ performance.
Raising EV Awareness
Live progress of the rally will be broadcast online, so anyone can tune in and watch the vehicles and look ahead to the checkpoints.
Between the social media accounts for the rally, sponsors, participants and media partners, 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.
Rally organiser Colin Boyton of PSI Group’s GREENFLEET Events, commented: “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.
“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.”