This nine-day road trip was electric
A series of workshops were held to answer the most pressing questions related to the latest generation of electric vehicles.
Dubai - The EVRT, which set off from Abu Dhabi on January 18, saw the participants cover 2,000km in electric vehicles through stunning desert landscapes, twisting mountain roads and picturesque coastal drives as it makes its way across the UAE and Oman.
By Saman Haziq
Published: Fri 26 Jan 2018, 8:36 PM
Last updated: Fri 26 Jan 2018, 10:44 PM
Imagine driving for 2,000km without a drop of petrol! This is no more a far-fetched dream as 60 people have accomplished this feat on Friday afternoon as the Electric Vehicle Road Trip (EVRT) Middle East reached its final destination in The Sustainable City, Dubai.
The participants - a convoy of 10 cars - were welcomed home from the epic nine-day road trip, in the presence of Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment. Participants included race car legend Doug Hebert; Chris Ramsay - the first person to complete the Mongol Rally in an electric vehicle (EV); and Alex Hirschi, the Australian motoring personality more commonly known as Supercar Blondie.
The EVRT, which set off from Abu Dhabi on January 18, saw the participants cover 2,000km in electric vehicles through stunning desert landscapes, twisting mountain roads and picturesque coastal drives as it makes its way across the UAE and Oman. They also visited important sustainable energy projects such the Shams 1 Solar Park.
Congratulating the EVRT team, Al Zeyoudi said the message this trip sends out to the world is that "sustainability is adoptable" and has an incredible impact on the environment. He urged the EVRT drivers to share their stories with zero oil and zero accidents so the message of sustainable development can be spread.
The EV convoy visited Madinat Zayed before driving to Sohar in Oman and on to Muscat. They returned to the UAE, calling at Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah before passing through Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Sharjah before touching the finish line in Dubai.
On reaching the final destination - The Sustainable City - the participants were given a special family fun day welcome celebrating the road trip and all things sustainable. The celebration gave the public a chance to learn about electric cars through test drives, workshops and exhibitors.
Ben Pullen, managing director of Global EVRT, said: "By establishing a new, extended network of charging stations across this tough, 2,000km route, we are demonstrating that these cars are not just environmentally friendly options for the future. They are real options for car buyers right now, with innovative gadgets and technology to excite and impress."
The cars, which can travel as far as 400km on a full charge (depending on make and model), were recharged using a network of GreenParking charging stations at IHG hotels throughout the trip. The EV fleet included a trio of Chevrolet Bolt EVs, a BMW i3 and Tesla X and S models. Public was given a chance to discover more about electric cars, eco-friendly technologies and sustainable living and including the UAE's first-ever kids' EV race and eco-friendly brands set-up at the Sustainability City.
Chris and Julie Ramsay, who came all the way from Scotland, for the EVRT, said: "We gave up driving petrol cars since 2011 and we never want to get back a petrol car because it is so much more economical to drive EVs. In the UAE, there are no charges for charging an EV so your fuel is free. You simply go home to your petrol station every day (as that's where you charge your car).
A series of workshops were held to answer the most pressing questions related to the latest generation of electric vehicles - how they work, how often they need to be charged, how far they can travel, how comfortable they are, the closest charging stations and a glimpse into the future of mobility.
In addition, a wide range of environmentally-friendly homewares and appliances, recycled art and fashion were set-up at the venue, while tours will be held of The Sustainable City, so the public can get a closer look at what life in the UAE's first net zero energy villa community looks like.