Glastonbury Festival announced on its website this year that electric vehicles that ran out of charge on-site would be charged £80 for an hour’s slow charging should their batteries run out of charge at the festival. After abrupt feedback from customers, this fee was reduced to £50. However, the chargers used by the festival are powered by diesel, not by renewable energy.
Speaking to the Somerset County Gazette in 2020, Emily Eavis said that they are “the only festival with a conscience” where it comes to the climate. According to BBC research the Eavis family gives environmental charity Greenpeace £500,000 in direct donations every year as well as free reign across the site to recruit festival goers in a relationship that has been going strong since 1991.
“Why then charge £50 or even £80 per hour to recharge an electric vehicle?” said James Foster, CEO of ZPN Energy, whose company in 2021 offered to install cost effective renewable energy powered charging points on the site for the users of Glastonbury Festival.
The charging equipment, ZAP Store and ZAPME mobile EV charging units, would have been themselves charged off-site and then taken to the festival site. The chargers ultimately used by Glastonbury Festival at far and away above market rates are powered by diesel generators.
ZPN Energy’s ZAP Store is a shipping container sized unit that stores up to around 3 megawatt-hours of electricity, and can be charged off-site using renewable energy. This would be able to give full charges to 50 EVs with average sized 60kWh batteries. Meanwhile the mid-sized ZAPME battery-based mobile charging system fitted in the back of standard electric van can deliver up to 50kW of charge to vehicles in the car parks at such a speed that no one would be inconvenienced if caught behind them. These too are recharged using renewable energy off-site.
“Glastonbury like COP26 and Goodwood Festival of Speed were all using diesel generators to charge EVs on site – The CommonWealth games have now done the same and all publicly claim that a solution or technology doesn’t exist” added Mr Foster. “They were offered a solution, ignored it and some of these demanded that we also pay at least £35,000 as an exhibiter. This hardly sits with these events ‘having a conscience’, does it? In Glastonbury Festival case if it was genuinely concerned about the climate rather than PR, they would invest in and support the EV revolution!”
The best data available shows that half a million EVs are on the road today with the proportion of battery electric vehicles being sold significantly increasing every month. Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders (SMMT) figures show that battery electric vehicle sales accounted for 12.4 percent of all new cars sold as of May 2022.
To add to this, new EV camper vans such as the Volkswagen ID Buzz and Mercedes EQV are set to come on the market this year.
“The VW ID Buzz and EQV camper vans are practically built with festivals like Glastonbury in mind!” said Foster. “Isn’t it time that the festival and event organisers set about catering for climate friendly vehicles?”
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