Fully Charged Live, Britain’s biggest ever motor show for electric cars, is now underway at Silverstone – and the bustling halls suggest the new car show is proving an instant hit. With dozens of new EVs on display, along with charging companies and other electric vehicle experts, there’s even a surprise extra for visitors – a pit garage full of classic cars converted to run on electric.
Headlined by Robert Llewellyn, star of Red Dwarf, Robot Wars and the Fully Charged YouTube show, with the support of Jonny Smith and Helen Czersky, ticket sales for the opening day have vastly exceeded expectations – and so many people have turned up, Silverstone officials have had to open an extra car park to accommodate them all.
“We sold 1,000 tickets last night alone,” Llewellyn told Motoring Research. “We hoped to sell around 5,000 – but it already looks like at least 6,000 people will come.” As tickets remain on sale for the second day of the show on Sunday 10 June, the total could rise even higher.
Llewellyn told us he hoped the show would help dispel some of the myths around electric cars for beginners, as well as showing off leading-edge new technology for electric vehicle evangelists. “Several companies have chosen to launch products here this weekend,” he revealed.
Exhibitors include Ecotricity, whose founder Dale Vince helped Llewellyn open the show, plus Chargemaster, Drive Electric, the Renewable Energy Association and Calvin Capital. Most of the electric cars and plug-ins currently on sale in Britain are on show, with numerous examples of the market-leading new Nissan Leaf, plus the Renault Zoe, Tesla Model S and Model X, Volkswagen E-Golf and Hyundai Ioniq.
As well as speaking to experts on the various stands, Fully Charged Live organisers have put on a series of talks – Saturday morning’s headliner was an EV101 introduction to electric vehicles, chaired by motoring journalist and television presenter Jonny Smith. He and Llewellyn will hold a live Q&A later in the day; another EV myth-busting talk is planned for Sunday.
Other discussion topics include:
- V2G: how can car, home and grid work together
- How to turn your home into a virtual power plant
- Total cost of EV ownership
- What the Watt?! The terminology of technology, simplified
- Generate your own heat and power at home
- From Zero to Hero: enabling the next Tesla
Bosses from Electric Classic Cars will also be discussing electric car conversions: in the Silverstone pit garage was a range of converted classics from a Fiat 500 to a Range Rover, plus a Ferrari that was waiting to have its V8 engine replaced by an electric motor and Tesla battery pack.
There was another highlight for visitors, too. Not only was there a solar-powered bus to ferry people from the car park to the massive Silverstone Wing, a heroic group of Tesla and Renault Zoe owners turned up en masse simply to transport people from point to point. They did it free of charge, will be doing it all weekend, and it seemed everyone who got out at the end of their trip was already beaming even before entering the show.
Just another demonstration of why Fully Charged Live’s opening day has proven such a hit. Come back to Motoring Research for more from the show; in the meantime, click on our images and, if you’re thinking of visiting on Sunday, see what’s waiting for you at Silverstone…