- Broadcaster, adventurer and Go Ultra Low ambassador Ben Fogle challenged pupils to count the number of zero emission miles they travelled over the course of a week, as part of a national school competition
- 630 schools took part in the challenge, with the winning pupil accumulating over 208 zero emission miles
- Ben Fogle will visit the winner’s school alongside Minister for Transport, George Freeman MP, and an EV expert to teach them about the benefits of electric cars
- The winning pupil receives tickets to the ABB Formula E-Prix in London donated by DS Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne
- News comes off the back of a record year for electric car registrations as more than 72,000 were registered. The equivalent to one registered every seven minutes
Wednesday 22nd January – Go Ultra Low, the joint government and industry campaign to promote the uptake of electric vehicles, has announced the winner of Ben Fogle’s Hero to Zero Emission Miles Challenge, a national school competition which encouraged pupils to choose zero emission travel. Pupils across the UK accumulated a total of 5,717 “zero emission miles” over the course of a week, more miles than it takes to get from the UK to Japan. This amounted to over 1.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions saved*, equivalent to boiling over 600,000 kettles.**
Over 600 schools across the UK took part in the challenge, which invited children between the ages of 7 and 11 to compete to achieve the most “zero emission miles” by walking, cycling, using public transport, or travelling in an electric vehicle.
The competition was run in conjunction with a series of lesson plans, aligned to the KS2 core curriculum, which saw over 100,000 pupils taught about the importance of zero emission travel and the benefits of electric vehicles. In the lessons, pupils learnt how their individual choices, such as using low and zero emission travel, can help society collectively reduce its carbon footprint. By using zero emission transport, the pupils learnt how driving in an electric vehicle can help improve local air quality, as fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles driven in electric mode produce no tailpipe emissions.
Go Ultra Low ambassador Ben Fogle will meet the winner Lottie Cleevely of the competition from the Churchdown Village Junior School near Gloucester. Lottie achieved an impressive personal total of 208 “zero emission miles” over a 7-day period, through walking and being driven in an electric vehicle. This amounted to carbon savings of 57.2kg over a one-week period. As a personal prize, Lottie will be presented with tickets to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in London this year, donated by Formula-E Double Champion, Jean-Eric Vergne, where they will watch high-performance electric cars racing against each other.
The runner-up’s family will also receive an EV over a weeklong period with free access to the Polar network provided by BP Chargemaster. This will allow them to experience an EV first-hand and realise the benefits of owning one, including low running costs, great performance all whilst helping to contribute to cleaner air quality.
Alongside their personal prize, Ben Fogle will take part in an assembly at the winning school along with Minister for Transport George Freeman MP, and EV expert Charlie Fraser, from Go Ultra Low member Octopus Electric Vehicles. Charlie will discuss the process of building electric vehicles and share his experiences of working in electric mobility, with the aim that some pupils may consider a future career in the industry.
Go Ultra Low ambassador Ben Fogle, writer, broadcaster and adventurer, said: “I’m all for encouraging the younger generation to make more sustainable travel choices, and I enjoyed reading the pupil’s entries of where they could travel to using low emission transport. It’s great to see how engaged the next generation is regarding EVs and sustainability. I’m proud of my involvement in this challenge and would like to congratulate Lottie again on accumulating an impressive 208 zero-emission miles.”
Head of Go Ultra Low, Poppy Welch, said: “As we’ve already seen over the past 12 months, the number of EVs on our roads is continuing to accelerate, with one registered every seven minutes in 2019. Electric cost as little as 1p per mile to run, can help improve local air quality, and are great fun to drive, so it’s no wonder people in the UK people are making more and more sustainable transport choices.
“The idea of this competition was to engage future generations and help educate them about EVs, which will increasingly become the norm as they reach adulthood. We’re delighted with the participation and engagement from schools across the country and would encourage the pupils to pursue their pledges which will help to reduce their personal carbon emissions.”
Future of Transport Minister George Freeman said: “We need to increase the pace of decarbonisation to ensure the next generations have clean air and a sustainable planet.
“It’s inspiring to see schools and young people across the country embracing the challenge to tackle climate change. Small changes to reduce your carbon footprint can have a big impact, and will help us travel together towards a zero emission future.”
Formula-E Double Champion, Jean-Eric Vergne, said: “Having the race back in London is a great achievement by ABB FIA Formula E. The Go Ultra Low campaign by the Department for Transport rewarding the future generations to travel to school using Zero emissions is even greater. As a racing driver competing in the fastest growing motorsport platform promoting sustainable energies and urban electric mobility, it is my duty to support such initiative.”
The news comes as 2019 registration figures hit a new high, with a new car registered every seven minutes in the UK. The total number of plug-in cars registered last year was more than 72,000 with the total number registered to date over 269,000. The continued growth of the EV market has also been accompanied by new charge points being installed in response to the increased demand. There are now over 29,000 public charging connectors in the UK, making it one of Europe’s largest charging networks.
*https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/greenhouse-gas-reporting-conversion-factors-2019. 1 mile travelled produces 275.2g CO2. Total figure 1573.318kg
** GHG emissions per kWh for the UK: 0.28307 kg CO2e per kWh: https://www.rensmart.com/Calculators/KWH-to-CO2. Energy consumption for a kettle per usage: 0.11 kWh https://www.carbonfootprint.com/energyconsumption.html. Total figure 611,385.72 kettles.
About Go Ultra Low:
The Go Ultra Low campaign aims to increase purchase consideration of electric vehicles by helping motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the wide range of plug-in and hydrogen-powered vehicles on the market. The campaign works to educate public and fleet audiences about these vehicles, addressing myths and highlighting benefits, including how they offer competitive practicality for private and business users.
GoUltraLow.com provides a one-stop shop for information about owning and running electric vehicles, the makes and models available, and the locations of the thousands of publicly-accessible charge points.
Go Ultra Low PR Contacts
For more information on Go Ultra Low, images or comment:
Henry Brand T: 020 7413 3445; E: Henry.Brand@hkstrategies.com
Harriet Fry T: 020 7413 3135; E: Harriet.Fry@hkstrategies.com