The fully electric coach affectionately nicknamed the ‘Carbon Battle Bus’, which started its UK wide Zero Carbon Tour this week in London before heading to Cornwall this weekend, has been left with 46% charge and a range of 60 to 70 miles but no charging points close enough to complete the South West tour from Cornwall. As the G7 leaders meet today to discuss accelerating climate action, it demonstrates how fast we must increase investment and policies to meet our zero carbon commitments.
The #carbonbattlebus has started a UK wide tour to enable organisations to make zero carbon pledges as part of the UN-backed #RacetoZero campaign and in line with government targets for net zero, helping them at least halve emissions by 2030.
Organisers of the #ZeroCarbonTour, Planet Mark, successfully travelled from London to the Eden Project, a distance of 263 miles with one recharge, in the electrically powered Yutong coach. However, in order to make the return leg through the South West of England the coach needs a recharge. With only 60 to 70 miles left, in its 200 mile maximum range, there are no serviceable chargers in the network on the route, leaving the Carbon Battle Bus stranded, beached even.
Steve Malkin, founder and CEO of the Planet Mark, said: “The Carbon Battle Bus has the range and capability to easily make this journey, but the poor state of the UK charging infrastructure means that we only found one charger serviceable on our route from London to Cornwall. When Boris Johnson addressed the G7 today, he called on leaders of the advanced economies to “make bigger commitments on… low carbon vehicles…”. To do this he must help bring together central and local government with businesses to connect policy, investment and roll out of zero carbon technologies, like EV charging, and nature-based solutions.”
The Tour team successfully recharged with an Ionity charger using ABB equipment at Cullompton, Devon. However, despite visiting nine other charging sites provided by Ionity, Ecotricity (who this week sold the Electric Highway to Gridserve to upgrade and scale infrastructure), BP Pulse ChargeMaster, Shell New Motion and Genie, none were able to recharge the Battle Bus, despite the information on Zapp Map indicating that the most popular plug type (CCS: Combined Charging System) should have.
“We are on the road to show that zero carbon is immediately possible for every community and organisation in the UK and beyond. We have identified an immediate issue in that only one in 10 charging points charges our coach, and met many EV owners at each stop with the same frustrations. Working together we will find the solutions and continue our journey solving other issues and showing what great work is taking place.
Our route from Eden to COP26 in Glasgow is an opportunity for us to be the champion of the consumer and help to solve the issues that stand in the way of a zero carbon transition and to buy EVs with confidence.” Steve Malkin said.