Fully Charged is a Youtube channel about electric cars and green technologies, founded by the actor Robert Llewellyn. More recently they have branched into events, hosting a series of exhibitions that have grown in size each time. This year’s was held at Farnborough Airport, and it’s now the biggest event of its kind – the world’s number one festival of electric cars and green energy.
We went along to Fully Charged Live last sunday as a family. I was considering it a day out with the kids and wasn’t in work mode, but I am going to write about it in case others might find it useful.
The big draw is electric vehicles, and the show had one of every EV on the market in the UK, and some new ones. It’s a really useful opportunity to see them all in one place, sit in them, open the trunk – could we get our camping stuff in here? Most of the vehicles are available for test drives. If you’re considering getting an electric car, there’s no better place for making an informed decision. I test drove a Nissan Leaf myself, as we’re looking to replace our aging hybrid at some point.
As we all ought to know, electric cars are just one part of a bigger transition to sustainable transport, and other aspects are also on display. We found electric vans, buses, motorbikes, and the first electric coach in the country.
There’s also a whole section of the show given over to micro-transport, and a test track where you could try out e-bikes, scooters and electric monowheels. My wife tried out a few, including a Swytch Bike conversion kit that would electrify her much loved existing bike for a surprisingly low price.
Elsewhere in the exhibition space were companies dealing in solar power, storage batteries, or electric heating. Utility companies were there, and Octopus Energy were shamelessly buying the love with plush pink octopi and free snacks. There were also leasing companies, which make EVs cheaper than you might expect. Car enthusiasts were enjoying the avenue of classic EV conversions, from VW Beetles to a Jaguar E-type, all indistiguishable from the petrol originals on the outside, but electric on the inside.
There’s a programme of talks covering all aspects of all of this, from how to buy a secondhand EV to giving up meat, to possibilities for electric planes or the ethics of cobalt. I didn’t get to any of these, because I was in the kids zone instead, loosely supervising bouncy castle time. Fortunately there was a Lego tent and a collective project to build a Lego eco-town, with good sight-lines to the bouncy castle.
We really enjoyed the day. We shortlisted EVs that might work for us. My wife has already ordered her e-bike conversion kit. My kids got to see a Tesla Model X in dance mode, which blew their minds. Most of all I really liked the culture of it. It seemed to be a very positive and welcoming event, with a real sense of shared purpose.
The next Fully Charged Live event in the UK is next April. Exhibitions are also planned in Europe, the US and Australia. If you’re anywhere nearby and you’re interested in electric cars and considering the switch, it’ll be well worth your while.