What to expect at the EV Rally 2023
Covering more than 1,200 miles over five days, the EV Rally will visit all capital cities of the UK and Ireland, testing the capabilities of electric vehicles and public charging infrastructure whilst visiting iconic landscapes and innovative clean energy projects
The EV Rally, which takes place 3-7 July 2023, is designed to test the capabilities of electric vehicles and the supporting charging infrastructure, over long distances and deliberately-chosen challenging routes. The aim is to show that electric vehicles are viable and that the charging network is up to the job, as well as highlighting areas for improvement and uncovering any challenges that need to be overcome.
Now in its third year, the Rally follows the success of the EV Rally Of Scotland (EVROS) in 2021 and the Great British EV Rally in 2022, which covered the length of Britain, from John O Groats to Lands End. This year the EV Rally, sponsored once more by Lex Autolease, will see teams travel visit all capital cities of the UK and Ireland over five days in a range of different electric vehicles.
For the first time, the EV Rally will have electric trucks and motorcycles taking part, as well as electric cars and vans. GREENFLEET’s HGV Manufacturer of the Year, Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK, have had a static presence at the finish lines of the two previous Rally events, but this time will showcase the innovative e-Actros, in motion, for the duration the whole event. There will also be a ferry crossing over to Northern Ireland, to test the Northern and Irish charging infrastructure, which is reported to be more sparse than in other areas.
The EV Rally will cover over 1,200 miles as it travels from Cardiff to Dublin, via London, Edinburgh and Belfast, with designated stops planned at clean energy projects, iconic sites and charging hubs on route.
The first day of the Rally will cover 306 all-electric miles, making it the second longest of the week. It will also be one of busiest in terms of checkpoints and showcases.
The start line is in Cardiff and will see teams travel to the first checkpoint in Bristol. Here there will be a Lex Autolease showcase and EV engagement event at the Amphitheatre, supported by Bristol City Leap and Bristol City Council. Teams will then travel to Heathrow to visit the Hertz electric rental site. The next checkpoint is at OVO Wembley Arena for the OVO Energy showcase. Checkpoint four takes place at bp pulse’s EV hub in Kettering for a charge at on one of their ten 300kWh units. The Rally then travels to the Leicester Tigers stadium for the Europcar showcase, in the shadow on the new Europcar West Stand. Teams finish the day at Nottingham where they can charge overnight thanks to Nottingham City Council’s innovative charging facilities.
EV fleet and grid-scale battery storage specialist Zenobē is the Rally’s Power Partner for day one. Zenobē’s ETaaS (Electric Transport-as-a-Service) solution provides fleet operators and local authorities with a full solution for a pay-per-month fee, including charging infrastructure, battery replacement and award-winning software. This will enable the iconic BEVerage bar to be for the focal point of the Start, with media and refreshment facilities on-board.
Battery logistics, to make the use of the Zenobē solution possible, comes courtesy of Vertellus, the commercial vehicle contract hire specialist from Renault Trucks. They will transport the solution on the back of an all-electric truck and deliver it with zero-emissions at the tailpipe.
The second day of the Rally has been labelled ‘The Beast’, with teams covering 316-miles, making it the longest day. Heading off from Nottingham, the teams will then visit York’s hyper hubs for the Churchill, Maxus and Speedy showcases. Checkpoint two will be in Sunderland where the Rally’s Charge Card Partner, Paua, will be showcased at the Fastned hub. Here we will also hear about DPD’s electric vehicle fleet innovation at their neighbouring NE depot.
The Rally will visit Ore Catapult as the third checkpoint, which is the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy. Here there will be a showcase of the National Grid’s work in the electric vehicle sphere. Checkpoint four will be on the England-Scotland border, where teams will put two wheels in each country. Day two ends in Edinburgh at East Lothian Council’s Wallyford hub.
Day three is the shortest day of the Rally, in terms of mileage. Leaving Edinburgh, teams will be able to head to Kilmarnock for a charge at the innovative Hub at the Athletics Stadium, if they wish, before heading to Cairnryan/Stranraer to hop on the Stena ferry to Belfast.
When in Ireland
Day three ends in an event called EV Rally LIVE!, which will take place at the stunning and iconic Titanic Belfast venue, next to Belfast Harbour. A gathering of Belfast EV dealerships and others from Ireland will be joined by the Teams for an afternoon of networking and collaboration, featuring Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Drivetech, AA, DAF-Cenex, Webfleet, and Black Horse. Kempower is the Official Charging Partner for EV Rally LIVE! and will be bringing the innovative ‘Movable DC’ unit with them for drivers to utilise to get themselves ready for day four.
Thursday is ‘Game of Thrones Day’, as the Rally takes in a couple of filming locations from the iconic series. The teams leave Belfast and head to the north coast via checkpoint one, Cloughmills, a new Weev mini-hub showcased at the McGuckian Milling Company.
Checkpoint two is Ballintoy, the scene for Pyke, The Iron Islands in Game of Thrones.
Checkpoint three is the Giants Causeway, the most visited tourist spot in Northern Ireland. Next up is Ballimoney, the Dark Hedges used to shoot the ‘King’s Road’ in Game of Thrones. After that, teams will go to the Battery Bar on the banks of Lough Neagh, before finishing the day in the beautiful town of Newry.
The final day of the 2023 EV Rally will see participants take in the beauty of Ireland, with innovation and clean energy projects as checkpoints.
EasyGo is the Rally’s Charging Partner for the Republic of Ireland and will give teams access to 4,000 public chargers on the EasyGo, ESB e-Cars, and Circle K IONITY networks in Ireland & Northern Ireland.
After crossing the border into the Republic of Ireland, the route takes teams to a newly-opened Rapid Charger hub at Mullingar, before moving on to the Bord Na Mona Mountlucas wind farm. The next checkpoint is Poulapoucha Lake which will provide a stunning backdrop, before heading to Brittas Bay. The final checkpoint is the beautiful town of Wicklow, with the entire rally finishing in Dublin, kindly hosted by Harris Automotive, distributors of Maxus vehicles, where drivers and teams will be treated to a well-deserved BBQ and wrap-up party.
Teams & Partners
As well as being the headline sponsor for the EV Rally, Lex Autolease is also taking part with its own team – and has a line up of interesting electric vehicles, such as the new-to-market Ora Funky Cat, Volkswagen ID Buzz and ID Buzz Cargo, and Jaguar I Pace. And making a surprise appearance at each of the capital cities will be some ground-breaking innovation… Watch this space! Driving for Team Lex will be media presenter and Fair Charge campaigner, Quentin Willson, amongst others.
Maxus has its own team participating and is also the Rally’s Official Logistics Partner, where they will be providing vehicles for the event organisers to get around. Maxus is also hosting the ‘wrap party’ at the finish line, at their HQ in Dublin.
Hertz is joining the Rally with its own team and as the Official Vehicle Partner, where they will be providing two Tesla Model 3s to the event organisers, and two for the media team, driven by EV Café’s Sara Sloman and John Curtis.
The AA is once again the official Roadside Assistance Partner for the 2023 EV Rally, supporting teams if they were to experience a breakdown or puncture. Team AA will also be participating with team Drivetech, who is the event’s Official Driver Training partner, offering tips on getting the most out of an electric vehicle.
Paua enters the Rally with its own team and as the Official Charge Card Partner where they will provide teams with the Paua card and app, which will enable them to find and charge, anywhere on the Paua roaming network. Supporting the charging will be other Partners bp pulse, who have a team, and the Rally will use their RFID cards to access the new ultra-rapid chargers at their new hub in Kettering. And Weev is also giving teams access to their network, when the Rally travels around Northern Ireland.
Bridgestone will be showcasing its electric vehicle tyre technologies during this year’s EV Rally as the event’s Official Tyre Partner, as well as entering with their own team. They’re joined by Webfleet, a Bridgestone company and the Rally’s Official Technology Partner. Webfleet technology will be installed in at least one vehicle per team, monitoring vehicle movement as well as reading power and battery information, giving us a daily m/kWh reading at the end of each day which will feed into the Rally League Table. Can anyone tip bp pulse off of top spot from 2022?
GREENFLEET’s current Mobility Provider of the Year, Europcar, is taking part in the EV Rally, showcasing its electric vehicle and mobility expertise, with a showcase at their newly-opened Europcar stand at Leicester Tigers RFC stadium.
Team National Grid will once again be taking part in the Rally, with BBC South’s Transport Correspondent Paul Clifton driving for them, supported by daughter Frankie. Lorna McAtear, National Grid’s head of fleet, leads the team and she will address the UK fleet sector at Ore Catapult, the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy, on the second day of the Rally.
Also participating for the second year will be team OVO, who will be hosting a showcase at the OVO Wembley Arena on day one of the event, before the teams head north for the second half the day.
DPD, which has an aim to be the UK’s most sustainable parcel carrier, joins the Rally again this year and will be showcasing their expertise in electric vehicles, notably at their NE Distribution Hub, just outside Sunderland on day two.
GREENFLEET’s Private Sector Fleet Manager of the Year, Aaron Powell from Speedy Asset Services will be driving the Rally on team Speedy, demonstrating the skills the company has thanks to its own electric fleet.
Churchill, one of the largest insurers in the UK, will be participating in the Rally for the first time, and will showcase its offering for electric vehicle drivers.
Team Black Horse Finance, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, will also be participating and will be promoting a better understanding of the used electric vehicle market.
Helping highlight the capability of electric commercial vehicles are three of the world’s leading manufacturers, each with their own team. Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK will show-off the 200+ mile range of its 27-tonne e-Actros.
Team IVECO is entering the Rally with its newly launched zero-emission van, the eDAILY. IVECO is keen to demonstrate the towing capabilities of the eDAILY by hitching a trailer with a digger to the back and pulling it up one of the steepest streets in the UK.
DAF Trucks and Cenex, who are working together on the DfT-funded Battery Electric Truck Trial (BETT), are teaming up on this year’s Rally. One of the DAF Electric LFs from the trial will be joining the event to test the capabilities of the vehicle on long and challenging journeys.
Ember, which runs the UK’s only all-electric intercity bus routes, is the EV Rally Edinburgh Driver Shuttle Partner, and used electric vehicle sales and sourcing experts Next Eco Car is the EV Rally’s Strategic Partner for Ireland.
Helping make the event possible are the official hosting, support and media partners. A huge “thanks” to Bristol City Council and Bristol City Leap, Nottingham City Council, Visit Belfast and Tourism NI. The Rally is also partnering with The Electric Vehicle Association Northern Ireland (EVANI).
To watch the Rally unfold, visit the EV Rally’s social media channels on twitter (@rally_ev) and LinkedIn (EV RALLY), and through the event’s Official Digital Media Partner, Transport + Energy.
Live progress can also be seen on ev-rally.co.uk from 03 July.