From the 24th of May to the 1st of June a unique rally of electric vehicles, the EV Trophy, will run through the roads of Europe to promote electric cars as sustainable and reliable forms of transport. The rally begins in Copenhagen and ends in the eco-friendly Principality of Monaco, with stops in 7 countries; anyone can join in to promote green mobility and environmentally conscious values. HelloMonaco met with Andriy Bilyy, the CEO of Electric Marathon International, to find out more about the inspiring event and what it hopes to achieve.
What brought you to the field of innovation and ecologically sustainable vehicles, as well as organizing electric car promo events?
I personally became interested in the field of innovation and ecologically sustainable vehicles when I first noticed a development in the field. In 2010 I had the opportunity to experience the Tesla Roadster, the first officially produced electric car and the very first one I ever tested – from then on my interest was peaked! I have always believed that the future truly belongs to electric vehicles, which is why I chose to go into this line of work.
How did you come up with the idea of organizing of EV Trophy?
Historically, we know that there has always been a strong interest in races and rallies; ever since traditional gasoline-run cars appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, the general public was interested in knowing the distance these cars could cover. Nowadays, racing and rallying has evolved to include electric vehicles as well – this is where we came in. We drive about 3000 km from Copenhagen to Monte-Carlo, demonstrating to the public that electric vehicles can be driven long-distances and that they are very suitable as well. We make them aware of the many charging stations across Europe and the infrastructure that caters to the needs of electric car drivers.
What is the goal of the EV Trophy?
Our main goal is to show how safe and organized these electric rallies can be. In some ways, electric vehicles work just like a refrigerator; the engine will constantly run without having to be changed. The rally’s main mission is to create a synergy between different cities and regions and promote ecologically friendly transportation.
How do you choose the itinerary for the rally?
Every year we choose the itinerary according to the location of our partners. This year our new partner is Green City Network, so our rally will begin in Copenhagen, as the main European office for Green Cities is found there, and will end in Monaco, as His Serene Highness Prince Albert II’s foundation is located here. We have decided to drive through European Green Cities, to unite them under the common goal of promoting green mobility and eco-friendly transportation. We will be crossing green cities like Hamburg, Essen, Freiburg and Torino, to name a few, to show our support for eco-friendly transportation and solutions. We will also have a group of drivers who will begin the race in Ukraine and drive all the way to Monaco, completing an even longer circuit.
Last year, the rally started in Lviv, in Western Ukraine, and ended in Monaco as well – our vision for that year was to historically unite the only two cities that at the beginning of the 20th century had organized rallies in their very own city streets.
Who takes part in EV trophy?
Anyone interested in the rally’s mission may register and take part in the event. The drivers are not professional racers – anyone who owns an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid can join!
How many drivers will participate in the EV Trophy 2017?
We predict that the number of drivers who will participate in the EV Trophy 2017 will be similar to last year’s numbers. In 2016 there were about 55 individual drivers in total; 10 to 15 drivers completed the entire route, while many others joined the rally at various stages, coming from the green cities and neighboring locations.
Where are they from? What vehicles will they drive?
Those who take part are a truly international group of drivers from a range of countries, whose one defining feature is that they are all united under the common goal of sustainability. The participants will be driving their personal electric vehicles, so there will be a veritable mix of cars on show.
What does the winner get? Are there any advantages or is it just for personal interest?
The main prize is in knowing that you are the winner of such a unique event that unites participants from all over the world and is admired worldwide. Throughout the rally, various events are organized in the green cities’ centers, which also gives the drivers the chance to showcase their car and demonstrate their eco-friendly values. Being part of the rally is like being part of a sustainable community, which is definitely an advantage in itself. The winners do receive an actual trophy, but purely as a symbol of recognition for their involvement and efforts in the rally.
Why is Monte-Carlo the final destination?
Monaco is the final destination because the highly regarded Prince Albert II Foundation is located here, a foundation that has important values that line up with ours and supports a great deal of environmentally friendly projects. The Principality of Monaco is a very innovative place and has made a lot of effort in creating a more sustainable community; therefore it is a great location to end the rally. At the same time, it is also an invaluable opportunity for Monaco as our drivers carry the Monegasque flag, and in doing so they promote the Principality and its ecological values, which is beneficial for the country’s tourism industry. It is also one of the most developed countries in terms of electric vehicles and innovative technologies – we want others to identify Monaco not just by the Casino and its glamorous events, but also by their eco-friendly initiatives. Finally, we also chose Monaco because we really like the place!
Was it hard to get Prince Albert II’s support?
It was very easy to get Prince Albert II’s support as our values and goals are very similar; we are both invested in creating more sustainable communities. The Prince Albert II Foundation supports our rally and the finishing ceremony even takes place in the Palace Square! In return for the chance to end the race in Monaco, Prince Albert II just asked that Monaco’s eco-friendly efforts and values be promoted around the world through our rally.
The pressing question of reducing greenhouse gas emissions brings electric vehicles to the forefront of the XXI century, and the participants of the EV Trophy are definitely blazing a trail for a sustainable future, making e-mobility an overall goal. Be sure to check out the end of the rally in Monaco on the 1st of June!