At 1100hrs (BST) this morning, the pioneering BBC Electric Drive documentary team left Broadcasting House in London on their epic drive around Europe in an electric vehicle (EV).
The team of four, led by presenter Peter Curran, will drive straight to Harwich to catch a ferry to Denmark; before driving across the Danish islands to Norway, then onto Sweden, Austria, Germany, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and others along the way before returning to London early in July.
BBC Electric Ride senior producer, Kevin Dawson, said: “The basic premise of our show is extremely simple – we want to look at the emergence of electric cars as a dawning reality. By embarking on an ambitious journey like this one, we will be able to share with our listeners the picture across Western Europe. We’ll be investigating the technology, infrastructure and political will behind the growth of EV culture.”
He continued: “Our choice of car came down to practicalities. We chose the THINK City because it is a ready-to-market fully electric vehicle, with a good driving range and respectable top speed.”
THINK handed the vehicle over to the Electric Ride team in London last week, and gave a top EV driving tips master-class to lead-driver Peter Curran, to help make the most of the vehicle and maximise battery range on the epic journey ahead. Some of the top tips included:
- The intensity of battery and range use is primarily governed by the throttle, so use it wisely and watch the efficiency meter on the dash to feel for your optimum driving style, e.g. by releasing the throttle early when approaching a red traffic signal.
- Use the ‘E’ or economy drive function on the transmission to maximise regenerative braking – this gathers the energy used for braking and feeds it back into the battery
- Drive with the windows up to minimise drag
- Carry only what you need to minimise weight – leave the golf clubs and children’s bicycles at home (though there is plenty of room in the spacious trunk for such items)
- Listen to relaxing music to ensure a patient and efficient driving style
Richard Canny, THINK CEO, said: “This is exactly the pioneering spirit that we encourage at THINK, which is why we are so happy to be supporting the BBC in this excellent project. They will prove that an EV can be just as versatile as a conventional car, but at the same time much more cost effective, efficient and friendly to the environment. Our top EV driving tips will help them along the way, and I look forward to personally welcoming the team in Oslo on Friday – a quarter of the way through their expedition.”
BBC Electric Ride will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Saturdays at 1030hrs (BST / GMT +1) for four weeks from 19 June and will also be available globally on BBC i-player from the same date. The team can also be followed globally on BBC Online (www.bbc.co.uk/electricride), Facebook (www.facebook.com/BBCelectricride), Twitter (www.twitter.com/bbcelectricride) and the project website (www.electricride.eu).