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Something’s changed…

Robert Llewellyn, founder, presenter & joint-CEO of FULLY CHARGED, says now it’s our time to change, too
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
FULLY CHARGED'S Robert and Maddie

This article first appeared in our Electric Nation EV special issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 03 September 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

It’s been 18 months since the enormity of the coronavirus crisis engulfed Europe, and all the while, looming ominously in the background, is an even bigger threat: the climate emergency.

At FULLY CHARGED we choose to focus on some of the positives from the last year and a half. After all, we have been shown what the world might look like with less commuting and less flying; it’s also made us take a long, hard look at supply chains and how we consume things.

Perhaps above all, the global vaccine rollout has shown that we can science our way out of a tight spot.

With extreme weather-related events increasing in frequency and severity, now is the time to stop navel-gazing. We know what the available solutions are – now it’s time to act, and at speed.

Welcome to the energy transition

FULLY CHARGED started life as a YouTube channel, but for many it’s becoming a movement for those who are looking to reduce their impact.

Our mantra is #StopBurningStuff as, while it has advanced civilisation immeasurably, combustion (alongside consumption) is the driving force behind a warming world.

Thankfully, there are cleaner technologies that don’t rely on burning fossil fuels; they are better than what’s been before – and they are better for us, too.

We are in the midst of the ‘third industrial revolution’ or, as some term it, ‘the energy transition’: a radical transformation from a fossil fuel-powered world to one that is run on post-combustion, sustainable technologies – like wind, solar, hydro and tidal – ably supported by energy storage (including batteries).

But we believe that the hero of this story is set to be the electric car. This is not to say that we believe in more cars (actually we believe in fewer, smaller, lighter and more shareable cars), but if you genuinely need your car we would urge you to choose a pure electric vehicle without an exhaust when you next need one.

The indisputable fact remains that cars stir emotions, and can act as the speartip to advance an array of cleaner technologies.

At FULLY CHARGED we are very familiar with the journey when someone gets their first electric car. Typically they are blown away by its superior performance and how much more convenient it is than they might have thought, and then before long they become increasingly engaged with the energy that goes into it, as well as the array of adjacent topics.

In short, it asks the question: if driving electric is this liberating, what would living electric be like? We will aim to answer that question at the biggest ever festival of electric vehicles and clean energy – FULLY CHARGED OUTSIDE – this September.

Find your electric car

Manufacturers have started to shift focus, so dozens of electric cars are now available. FULLY CHARGED OUTSIDE will be the only show in the UK this year to have every commercially available electric car on display – many of which you can try for yourself in our test drive programme.

While Tesla’s Model 3 still sets the bar, there are some incredible cars now on offer, including Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, KIA’s EV6, Polestar 2, VW’s ID.3 and ID.4 and many others. We will also have electric cars that are coming soon, as well as some concepts and prototypes that we think are the future of transport.

We will also look back with an incredible selection of classic cars that have been converted to electric, as well as a rarely seen electric car from 1906.

Visitors will have the chance to ask questions about running electric cars, and talk about all the charging options both at home and away.

Our two theatres will be packed with useful information for beginners, an understanding of running costs, myth busters and deeper dives into how batteries are being recycled and where the materials that make them come from. A day at FULLY CHARGED OUTSIDE should equip you with everything you need to embark on your electric journey.

Other electric vehicles

One of the things we love about the electrification of transport is the range of smaller, lighter options that is emerging.

From electric monowheels to skateboards, from scooters to bikes and trikes and from mopeds to motorbikes, you will be spoilt for choice at FULLY CHARGED OUTSIDE.

One of the assumptions often overheard about e-bikes is that they are a lazy alternative to pedal-powered bikes, but actually they provide additional power to your pedalling, meaning that you can cycle faster and further.

E-bike sales are soaring, as they open up two-wheeled options to lots of people who haven’t considered cycling of late. After all, if these smaller options can take cars off the road, that can only be a good thing.

At the other end of the spectrum, electrification is coming in for serious consideration for larger vehicles, like planes, trains and boats, too.

At FULLY CHARGED OUTSIDE we will showcase lots of commercial electric vehicles, especially coaches, buses, trucks and vans, as businesses look to benefit from the cleaner, greener options coming to market.

Cleaner technologies

Often we find that while people understand that transport – especially flying or driving – has a huge carbon impact, they tend to think less about their energy consumption at home.

There is lots of talk about low-energy lightbulbs, switching off appliances overnight and even recycling as being the right thing to do.

These are of course important steps, but their impact is small when compared with electricity and in particular heat and hot water.

In fact, in UK households the carbon impact of heating and hot water is roughly equivalent to its flying and driving.

When it comes to electricity, the switch to sustainable energy is straightforward enough now and there will be several energy suppliers you can talk to at FULLY CHARGED OUTSIDE.

Beyond that, you might be interested to find out how you can best generate, store and maximise electricity at home, and again we will have some superb technology companies on show.

However, heat and hot water will finally get a focus proportionate to the carbon that current technologies emit.

With live sessions on ‘Beyond the Boiler’ and ‘Are Heat Pumps the next big thing?’, FULLY CHARGED OUTSIDE will gather together all of the technologies that you need to consider.

Whether it’s cheaper measures like insulation, energy efficiency, smart thermostats or thermal storage – or bigger investments like air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps or the newest zero-emission heating tech – it will all be on display.

See you in September

To find out what you should do differently and which technologies you should invest in, there’s no better showcase in the world than FULLY CHARGED OUTSIDE, 03, 04 and 05 September.

Come along for a day, and better still bring a friend you believe could also be converted to electric vehicles and clean energy.

Going electric, and leaving fossil-fuelled products in the past, is an infectious feeling. In a world where negativity spreads like wildfire, surely it’s time to spread positive energy instead?

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