On the 1st of June the EV Trophy 2017, after starting in Copenhagen on May 24th, reached their last checkpoint in the Principality of Monaco where an official award giving took place by the Prince’s Palace in honour of all the drivers that took part. The EV Trophy is a unique rally of electric vehicles that takes place on the public roads of Europe, stopping in seven countries to promote green mobility and eco-friendly values to support a universal green future. We spoke to some of the participants to delve into their most favourite and most challenging moments during the European rally.
The impressive rally is organized by Electric Marathon International (Ukraine), who’s CEO is Andriy Bilyy, the founder and organizer of the EV Trophy that HelloMonaco previously interviewed about his eco-friendly missions. He is a great promoter of sustainable energies and lifestyles, aiding the global mission of reducing CO2 emissions, stating that, “the question of switching to smarter and efficient transport has become a higher priority for all of humanity today”. This is the basis of the rally that brings together like-minded enthusiasts and encourages the development of innovative solutions in transportation.
Any member of the European community was welcome to take part in this inspiring initiative, the only prerequisite was to own an electric or hybrid car as the event seeks to demonstrate the longevity and versatility of these cars even in the realm of rallies and long distance endeavours. The teams that registered with their electric vehicles were allowed to participate in the entire rally and compete against the others for the first place, or simply take part in a single stage of the route to show their support and involvement in the project.
Rally participants covered an estimated 2500 km, crossing through numerous cities and stopping at 7 of them to parade their cars and promote their eco-friendly values, including Denmark, where the start of the race was announced by Prince Joachim of Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, France and Monaco. The drivers followed a meticulously planned daily route that took them through green cities like Hamburg, Essen, Freiburg, Bellinzona and Cuneo, all united under the idea of preserving the global environment. The competition wasn’t just about having the most powerful electric engine, as drivers faced interesting challenges and had to seek out clues to quests.
S.A.S. Prince Albert II attended the award ceremony in order to personally meet the participants and congratulate them on their achievements, stopping for pictures and to hear about their experience. He was also awarded with his own EV Trophy for his extensive efforts in promoting an eco-friendly community and future through his successful foundation. Prince Albert II and Andriy Bilyy presented the first place drivers with their awards; Team electromaps from Spain finished in the lead after completing about 26 hours of driving (and 26 hours of charging!) over the past week, just an hour before the second car. When asked about the rally the team driver and Chief Marketing Officer for electromaps, Rafael de Mestre, noted that it was “a truly original event, that also proved to be quite challenging!”. “The other drivers were immense competition, not only did you have to try and stay ahead of them”, explained de Mestre, “you also had to try your best to avoid traffic jams, rush hour and even unexpected stormy weather”. The first place driver commented on the fact that “thunderstorms in Germany almost always cause accidents”, tricks and shortcuts must be found, and that’s where ones ingenuity pays off.
The Venturi e-pilots awarded second place to Green Victory Team from Czech Republic, Jirí Vlk and Stan Strunc, who finished just over an hour after the first car – positions fluctuated all throughout the race, making the rally a very interesting one to watch. The drivers found the last leg of the race, from Cuneo to Monte-Carlo, to be the most challenging as the pressure of the finish line grew near, and they had to overtake as many cars as possible to reach their goal. However, they also took the time to enjoy the ride; “the best part of the race for us was driving through Switzerland, because of the beautifully picturesque landscape”, admitted Jiri Vlk and Stan Strunc . The award for third place was given to Team UBG from Ukraine, and they even received the prize for ‘the bravest team’, competing with a Tesla Motors car.
Team Hansen & Christiansen from Copenhagen definitely embraced the saying ‘it’s the participation that counts’, as they arrived in last place because there were enjoying the drive and fully taking in the experience. “We didn’t stick to the fastest route, instead choosing the more scenic route and sometimes stopping for pictures!”, confessed the drivers, Jasper and Jonas. They too noted that the most difficult moment of the rally was driving from Cuneo to Monaco, because “the hilly terrain offers more of a challenge”. They’re set to make their way back to Denmark the day after the rally, and have given themselves the challenge to cover as much ground as possible in a day.
They were right though; it is the taking part in such a unique initiative that counts, spreading the message across Europe that electric cars are versatile and can be the future of transport if we wish to create a more eco-friendly and sustainable world.