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NINE-DAY ELECTRIC VEHICLE ROAD TRIP LEAVES LASTING LEGACY

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After nine days, 2,000 kilometres, seven emirates, two countries, over 20 new charging points, and countless thrills, the 2018 edition of the Electric Vehicle Road Trip (EVRT) Middle East came to an end on Friday (26 Jan).

Hundreds of UAE families and VIPs – including H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, racing legend Doug Herbert, Alex Hirschi AKA Supercar Blondie, and Ben Pullen, Managing Director of Global EVRT – joined the road trip participants for a special celebration event at the finishing line at The Sustainable City in Dubai.

The grand finale event, the e-Mobility Showcasing Day, provided the perfect podium to celebrate and discover more about electric cars, eco-friendly technologies and sustainable living, while also welcoming home the convoy and its achievements from the longest road trip in the Middle East – all without using a single drop of petrol.

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The trip included driving out into the Abu Dhabi desert to Madinat Zayed before driving to Sohar in Oman and then Muscat, setting up discussions with key government and industry officials, like Nama Group, who supported the charging stations built by GreenParking and sponsored the road trip as well as Global EVRT’s The Future of Mobility Roundtable Muscat, the first event of its kind in the Sultanate of Oman.

The 2018 event also leaves a lasting legacy for the future of electric mobility in the region through a new network of permanent charging stations established along the route by GreenParking, including some of the first charging points in Oman at various IHG Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental Hotels as well as in the UAE.

When the convoy reached Ras Al Khamiah Race Track, the first ever EV vs. Petrol drag race was held in the UAE. The Tesla S85D model was victorious, with three wins to EV, by racing legend Doug Herbert and celebrity Supercar Blondie, and one win to petrol (due to a false start), all before passing through Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Sharjah before finally arriving in Dubai.

Ben Pullen, Managing Director of Global EVRT said: “Electric vehicles are a key part of the future of mobility and transportation in the Middle East and we’re proud to leave a lasting legacy in the new network of state-of-the-art charging stations built along the route of the 2018 edition of EVRT Middle East to compliment the ongoing efforts of the government and private organisations.”

“Our mission to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles for the creation of smart and sustainable societies is now a reality, thanks to the foundations laid by the UAE and Oman government, and our key partners, like Chevrolet, Nama Group, Emirates NBD, The Sustainable City, GreenParking and IHG, which helped provide and build the infrastructure needed to make our event a success, and we look forward to working closely with them to bring an even bigger and more exciting event to the region next year.”

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Chevrolet Bolt EV: The long way home

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Having undertaken a 1,750km-plus road trip from the UAE to Oman and back, the Chevrolet Bolt EV has proven it can tackle any real-world driving situation

The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV has firmly established itself at the top of its segment with a stunning demonstration of its incredible 500km-plus driving range as part of the 2018 Electric Vehicle Road Trip (EVRT) recently. The nine-day event, which was flagged off on January 18 from Abu Dhabi covered over 1,750 kilometres, with stopovers in Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Sohar and Muscat across the border in Oman, before concluding in Dubai.

Molly Peck, Chief Marketing Officer at General Motors Middle East, said: “The EVRT Middle East presented the perfect opportunity to put our Chevrolet Bolt EV credentials to the test in real-word regional conditions. This road trip put our vehicle through its paces proving that it is the best-in-class affordable long-range EV in its segment. We are extremely proud to have been EVRT’s Official Vehicle Partner throughout the 1,750km feat. Dedicated to playing a major role in the Middle East’s future mobility revolution we will continue to support the acceleration of EVs across the region.”

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The first leg of the trip included a drive to Madinat Zayed, which the Chevrolet Bolt EV dominated with less than a full battery charge. After a quick stop to get battery charge levels up to full capacity, the Chevrolet Bolt EV was ready to take on the nearly 400km run to Sohar in Oman.

Tackling real-world conditions of city driving as well as long highway cruises, the Chevrolet Bolt EV rendered the phrase ‘range anxiety’ all but meaningless – covering the four-hour-plus journey with enough charge and driving  range to spare.

Following a recharge at Sohar, the Chevrolet Bolt EV was once again ready to take on the next challenge – a 200km-plus drive to the Omani capital, Muscat. Expectedly, the trip was covered with substantial driving range still available from the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s most-potent-in-class 60kWh battery pack.

Another recharge and the Chevrolet Bolt EV headed back into the UAE, driving along the stunning coastal roads that connect Muscat to Fujairah via a pit-stop in Sohar. At the end of the over 350km drive, the Chevrolet Bolt EV reaffirmed its practicality as an electric vehicle you can literally drive across countries, just as you would a conventional petrol vehicle, albeit without the emissions.

With the final recharge at Fujairah, it was time for the Chevrolet Bolt EV to embark on the home stretch of the road trip culminating at Dubai Sustainability City via Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Sharjah. Perhaps the longest distance anyone would reasonably cover in a daily driving situation.

Having covered in excess of 1,750 kilometres in the epic nine-day road trip, the Chevrolet Bolt EV has proven that it is adept at tackling any every-day driving situation. And with a 500km-plus driving range, the Chevrolet Bolt EV has also proven that range anxiety is a thing of the past.

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ELECTRIC vs PETROL DRAG RACE HEADS LINE-UP OF EVENTS DURING ROAD TRIP ACROSS UAE & OMAN

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Global EVRT has revealed the exciting list of events planned for its convoy of drivers during its 1217km Electric Vehicle Road Trip, including the UAE’s first drag race between electric and petrol vehicles.

The event, which sets off from Abu Dhabi on 18thJan, will take in stunning desert landscapes, twisting mountain roads and picturesque coastal drives as it makes its way across the UAE and Oman.

Event organiser, Global EVRT, has also now announced a fantastic line-up of sustainability focused events during the nine-day trip, which will see drivers and passengers get up close and personal with world-leading solar technology and meet the people helping to shape the future of energy in the region and beyond.

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Members of the public are encouraged to join the convoy in their local area for their chance to test drive an electric vehicle and learn more about the fantastic financial and other benefits of owning one through the experts at Emirates NBD, who offer special rates through their Green Auto Loans. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Emirates NBD has taken the lead in green financing, in addition to being a strong supporter and diamond sponsor of the Global EVRT.

Setting off from Abu Dhabi, the fleet of electric cars, including a trio of the Chevrolet Bolt EV as well as Tesla models S and X, will drive 120km for a guided tour of the innovative Shams 1 Solar Park in Madinat Zayed. As one of the largest solar power stations in the world it represents not only a huge step forward for commercial solar energy, but also a clean future energy source for the UAE.  

EVRT Middle East Road Trippers will then drive directly back to Abu Dhabi to charge before setting off for the 270km drive to Oman, passing through some of the UAE’s most stunning deserts and the ‘Garden City’ of Al Ain before arriving at the beautiful coastal city of Sohar after approximately three hours on the road.

The Oman leg of the journey will continue with a drive to the country’s picturesque capital, Muscat, visiting its Botanical Gardens, Sultan Qaboos University and the German University of Technology, where students will be given a chance to test drive the cars.

Day five of the road trip will bring together the key stake holders of Oman in the industries of transport and smart cities, for The Future of Mobility Roundtable discussion. The first event of its kind in Oman, this will be a unique chance for government and industry to explore the country’s successes, challenges and future plans in this sector, in this fast-evolving region.

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When the cars return to the UAE, they will be put through their paces with a drive up the steep mountain roads that lead to the summit of Jebel Jais. However, while the energy sapping drive uphill may take its toll, the smart technology inside the cars means they will automatically recharge during the descent, with up to 40km worth of extra power added to their batteries.

That extra power will come in use for their visit to RAK Race Track where they will take part in a winner takes all drag race. In what is sure to be a fun and thrilling race, the very latest in zero-emission technology will go up against the best that traditional petrol power has to offer with famous drag racer Doug Herbert leading the challenge against the Global EVRT team.

Spectators will get to see first-hand the huge advancements made in the electric vehicle sector as the Chevrolet Bolt EV will race to 100km/h in just 7.3 seconds while the Tesla S, P100D, is expected to take the chequered flag as it can clock the 100km/h mark in just 2.7 seconds – faster than the majority of petrol cars on the market.   

On the final day of the journey the cars will arrive at Dubai’s The Sustainable City for the EVRT Middle East Grand Finale and the e-Mobility Showcase Day. The special event is not only a chance for the public to welcome the EVRT Middle East convoy, but also to find out more about the technology that has powered the cars across two countries through live test drives and showcasing opportunities. 

During the trip a list of VIPs will join the convoy including Formula E presenter Nicki Shields, Chris Ramsay, the first person to complete the Mongol Rally in an Electric Vehicle and Sushil Reddy, the world record breaker for cycling across the world using a solar powered bike.

A network of 18 permanent charging stations will be established along the route to power the convoy of electric cars taking part in the EVRT Middle East 2018. Five official opening ceremonies will take place when the cars reach key locations in Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Sohar and Muscat – where there will be two ceremonies.

Anyone with an interest in EV technology is invited to take part in the road trip. Tickets are available for the full journey or for two individual stages with participants able to join for Abu Dhabi to Muscat (January 18th-22nd) or Muscat to Dubai (January 22nd- 26th). Driving experiences will also be offered to the public in Muscat, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah or Dubai.

Ben Pullen, Managing Director of Global EVRT said: “The journey promises to be nine days of fun, educational and inspiring moments and activities that will not only clear up any misunderstanding amongst consumers about what these cars are capable of, but also showcase the natural beauty of this region.

“Driving an electric vehicle is the ideal way to discover the technology that is shaping the transport needs of tomorrow. By establishing a network of charging stations across the 1,217km route, the EVRT Middle East will demonstrate just how capable these vehicles are and how they are a real, practical, and fun option for car buyers today.”

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NETWORK OF NEW CHARGING STATIONS TO POWER ELECTRIC VEHICLE ROAD TRIP ACROSS UAE AND OMAN

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A new network of over 18 state-of-the-art charging points will be established to power the convoy of electric vehicles taking part in the 2018 Electric Vehicle Road Trip (EVRT) Middle East.

GreenParking, Global EVRT’s Official Charging Station Partner, will oversee supply and construction of the stations and other essential infrastructure along the 1,217-kilometre drive, taking place from January 18th to January 26th.

The EVRT Middle East event is being made possible through innovative collaborations with private firms such as GreenParking. Car giant, Chevrolet is providing its first electric model in the region, the Chevrolet Bolt EV for the huge road trip and the Sustainable City Dubai will host a huge family fun day to celebrate the end of the trip.

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The new charging stations will be set up at key locations in the UAE and Oman, including IHG hotels: Crowne Plaza Yas Island, Crowne Plaza Sohar, Crowne Plaza Muscat, InterContinental Muscat and InterContinental Fujairah, where they will remain as a permanent fixture and expand on the current EV infrastructure to enable more people to make the switch from petrol cars.

Sam Alawiye, CEO of GreenParking said: “The Electric Vehicle Road Trip Middle East is an important step towards bringing zero emission vehicles to the forefront of the public’s attention and our extended charging station network will help to showcase these fantastic cars as sustainable and practical alternatives to petrol vehicles.

“Electric vehicles are the future of transport and they will soon be a common sight on the UAE’s roads. We are delighted to be helping to lay the foundations for a revolution in transport in the Middle East and beyond and delighted to be part of the EVRT Middle East.”

The new stations will be officially opened as the cars taking part in the EVRT Middle East reach the locations in Abu Dhabi, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah as well as Sohar and Muscat in Oman.  

Chevrolet, the Official Electric Vehicle Partner for the EVRT Middle East 2018, will be providing three new Chevrolet Bolt EV models to EVRT Road Trippers offering them a chance to get an exclusive desert test drive a year before it goes on sale in the region.

Gary West, Urban Active Operations Manager, GM International said: “The demand for electric vehicles is expanding globally each year, and the UAE is well positioned to be a strong market for low emission cars thanks to events such as the EVRT Middle East. At Chevrolet, we are proud to bring the Chevrolet Bolt EV to the region, which we know will form the backbone of the electric vehicle fleet.”

“The EVRT Middle East 2018 road trip will give car enthusiasts their first look at our new Chevrolet Bolt EV, which combines a host of innovative technologies with an unprecedented driving range of over 500 kilometres. With these outstanding green credentials, we have demonstrated our commitment to playing a major role in the next chapter of the Middle East EV story.”

Setting off from Abu Dhabi on January 18th, the EVRT Middle East convoy will explore the open roads of the UAE and Oman before stopping at sites of outstanding natural beauty and important sustainable energy projects before reaching its final destination at The Sustainable City in Dubai on January 26th.

Ben Pullen, Managing Director of Global EVRT said: “By establishing a new, extended network of charging stations across this tough, 1,217km route we are demonstrating that these cars are not just environmentally friendly options for the future, they are real options for car buyers right now, with innovative gadgets and technology to excite and impress. 

“Driving an electric vehicle during the road trip is the perfect way to fully appreciate the capabilities of the technology that is shaping the future of transport and to see first-hand how well the cars handle the open road, especially over long distances.”

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CONVOY OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES TO TAKE PART IN ROAD TRIP ACROSS UAE AND OMAN

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The Electric Vehicle Road Trip (EVRT) will return next month for an epic, 1,217-kilometre, nine-day road trip across the UAE and Oman – all without using a single drop of petrol. 

After the success of last year’s road trip across the UAE, the 2018 edition of the EVRT has been expanded to include a visit to Oman’s capital Muscat and the city of Sohar. 

The nine-day road trip will see a convoy of all-electric powered vehicles drive through the deserts of Abu Dhabi, the mountains of Oman and along the rugged coastline of the Northern Emirates. 

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Setting off from Abu Dhabi on January 18th, the cars will visit Madinat Zayed before driving to Sohar in Oman and on to Muscat. The convoy will then return to the UAE, calling at Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah before passing through Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Sharjah. 

The cars will reach the finish line and final destination, at The Sustainable City in Dubai on January 26th, just in time to join in a special family fun day celebrating the road trip and all things sustainable; giving the public a chance to learn everything they need to know about electric cars through test drives, workshops and exhibitors.  

Each day of the trip will see the Tesla and other electric car models explore the open roads before stopping at sites of outstanding natural beauty as well as important sustainable energy projects such the Shams 1 Solar Park. 

The cars, which can travel as far as 400km on a full charge (depending on make and model), will be recharged using a network of GreenParking charging stations at IHG hotels.

Car lovers are invited to take part in the 2018 Electric Vehicle Road Trip Middle East and join the epic trip from January 18 to January 26

Tickets are available for the full nine day journey or for one of the two five-day stages, where participants can join for Abu Dhabi (18th January) to Muscat (22nd January) or Muscat (22nd January) to Dubai (26th January), with the chance to drive an electric vehicle on sections of the route. 

Road trip participants can also enjoy activities such as visiting Oman’s Botanic Garden with the country’s first solar park, sightseeing in Muscat, experiencing authentic Omani culture in Sohar, relaxing on the beaches of Fujairah, and driving through the famous golden sand dunes of Madinat Zayed, amongst other activities. 

Ben Pullen, Managing Director of Global EVRT said: “The Electric Vehicle market has developed significantly in the last 12 months in the UAE and it’s fantastic to see that there are other forward-thinking governments and industry in this region, such as Oman who are already working on smart city development, with inevitable plans for electric vehicles in the near future.  However, there is still a lot of misunderstanding amongst consumers of what these cars are capable of. 

“By tackling this tough terrain across 1,217km we are demonstrating that these cars are not just environmentally friendly options for the future, they are real options for car buyers right now, with innovative gadgets and technology to excite and impress. 

“Driving an electric vehicle during the road trip is the perfect way to fully appreciate the capabilities of the technology that is shaping the future of transport and to see first-hand how well the cars handle the open road, especially over long distances.”

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