By now many of us have learned to adapt to our new virtual lifestyle. We’ve arranged virtual business meetings, thrown virtual dinner parties and attended virtual parent’s evenings. And, on the 18th March, Park and Charge Oxfordshire’s official launch became the latest event to move online.
For those of you unfamiliar with the project we’ll give you a quick recap – Park and Charge Oxfordshire are installing 280 charging points throughout Oxfordshire, encouraging local residents to make the transition from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles (EV), part of the County Council’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So, with our ongoing events like the one a few weeks ago, we’re hoping to share information and clear up any doubts you might have about going electric.
We opened our virtual doors to the public with our first online event, complete with live Q&As, personal stories from our EV Champions, kids’ activities and much more. Covering every step of the transition, from choosing the right EV for your lifestyle to operating the new charging points, we heard from a wide range of experts in a series of interactive sessions.
Let’s take a look back at some of our favourite moments.
Trevor Quizzes the Audience
The event was hosted live from Oxford’s Jack FM studio by breakfast show presenter Trevor Marshall. Trevor, a self-proclaimed newbie to the world of electric vehicles, got audience members involved from the get-go with a series of questions on the subject. As well as testing their EV knowledge, which our audience passed with flying colours, this was a chance for us to find out more about how Oxfordshire residents use their vehicles. We learned that most of you drive less than 20 miles on an average day (pre-Covid) and 70% leave their vehicles at home in a private garage or driveway. This is important information that we can take on board going forwards.
The Test Drive
Next, it was Trev himself who got behind the wheel of an electric car, as he was unleashed onto Oxfordshire’s roads in a Hyundai Kona Electric. His first time driving an EV, he described the experience as “comfortable” and “natural”, “it felt like driving a normal car but you know you’re doing some good for the environment and saving yourself some money as well”. We were just glad to get the car back in one piece!
EV Blind Date
Like any vehicle, it’s important to choose an EV that suits your lifestyle. So we sat down for a spot of ‘electric vehicle speed dating’ with our friends at Electric Zoo who helped us pair up potential suitors with a vehicle that would be perfect for them.
Our EV Champions
Then it was time to hear some personal stories from our EV Champions, some of whom are currently in the process of making the switch themselves. Who better to help us spread the word about our chargers than those who’ll be using them on a regular basis? They shared anecdotes about their transition and top tips on purchasing, charging and driving electric vehicles on Oxfordshire’s roads.
We wanted to make the event as informative as possible so there were plenty of opportunities throughout the afternoon for audience members to learn more about our project and ask any questions they had. To answer them, we brought along some of the experts bringing Park and Charge to life.
‘EVs are too expensive’. ‘Their batteries degrade within a few years’. Matt West of Go Green Autos was on hand to clear up these misconceptions and more with some of his technical expertise. We then handed over to Elizabeth Bohun, Sustainability Projects Manager at Oxford City Council, to give you the full rundown of the project and to unveil our very first chargers in Bicester’s Cattle Market car park.
Any questions that weren’t answered by Lizzie or Matt, we saved for our ‘Ask the Experts’ session in which audience members submitted their questions to a team of experts involved in the project. These included Oxford University engineers, council staff and infrastructure specialists from Zeta Specialist Lighting, Urban Integrated and SSE.
And it wasn’t just adults who learned something new. Scientist extraordinaire, Max Parsonage, ran some exciting experiments for kids to get involved with, helping us create a new generation of EV enthusiasts.
Thanks to everyone who attended; we hope you enjoyed this event as much as we did. Don’t worry if you missed it, we’ll be releasing a full recording ASAP! We’re sure this will be the first of many, so keep an eye on our social media channels for news about further events we’ll be running in the coming months.
If you’d like to become one of our future EV Champs do get in touch with us by clicking here:
If you’d like to join our mailing list to find out about upcoming events and to keep up to date with the project click here: