This coming weekend a small but hardy team of Climate Groupers are doing the UK’s iconic Three Peaks Challenge to help raise funds for our new intern program (don’t forget to support us here!).
The event, which must be completed in 24 hours or less, takes its name from the highest peaks in Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scafell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon) and is rightly considered a hiking (and endurance) classic in the UK.
What’s often forgotten is that the ‘Three Peaks’ is also an epic road trip.
From London, our team will cover some 1100 miles (1770km) over the weekend. To keep things simple and costs down, most of the team will be taking the train to Glasgow and from there will be picking up two diesel-powered vans for the rest of the weekend.
But when your organisation is at the forefront of promoting electric mobility (EV100 and the ZEV Community) you can hardly plan a marathon road trip and not bring an EV with you! And so, with the help of the good folks at the EV Experience Centre in Milton Keynes, that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Starting from the wide, car-friendly avenues of Milton Keynes, we’ll be driving a BMW i3 across much of England, Scotland and Wales, getting to grips with the UK’s rapidly expanding EV charging system and the reality of driving an EV in some of the country’s more remote areas as well as some of its busiest.
With a ‘real world’ range of up to 150 miles (note: the EV Experience Centre’s estimate, not BMW’s) the i3 is fairly typical of most current EVs on the market. Compared to the 500+ miles that many petrol or diesel cars on UK roads achieve however, such a range still creates perception issues for EVs… perceptions which are ever increasingly wrong.
Taking an EV on our Three Peaks Challenge will help us demonstrate how far the EV sector has travelled in just a few years. The number of public charging stations is on the rise and with every new model adding more miles to its range, the issue of range anxiety is rapidly disappearing into the rear-view mirror, while the virtues of EVs (zero air pollution, lower maintenance costs, more fun to drive) become ever clearer.
Like any road trip, we know there may be bumps in the road this coming weekend. The EV charging infrastructure, for example, is not yet at the scale of the fossil-fuelling system most of us rely on, meaning things may not always go to plan.
But as the many businesses and governments we work with are discovering, EVs are no longer a niche transport option but one that is well on its way to transforming our idea of mobility. Tackling the Three Peaks Challenge with an EV seems like a perfect way to prove that point.
To support our Three Peaks Challenge, please visit our JustGiving page here.