The co-founders of sustainable delivery company Green 2 have completed the Great British EV Rally (GBEVR) – a journey which saw them drive from one end of the British Isles to the other in a pair of electric vans.
Lee Sibley and Jason Atkins completed the 1,200-mile journey in a pair of Mercedes-Benz eVito vans which were provided by Rygor Commercials.
The Rally saw teams travel from the starting point of John O’Groats on Monday (4 July), to the finish point at Land’s End on Friday (8 July), racking up more than 1,200 miles over the course of the week.
Green 2 Delivery is a brand new fully sustainable two-person delivery business, providing an environmentally friendly alternative to the fossil-fuel networks currently operated by others.
Lee said: “One challenge was competing with the public at chargers and making sure that you used ones which were slightly out of the way. The charging infrastructure throughout was amazing and there really is no issue around being able to get a charge. When you’re travelling on some of the main motorways you do have to consider the fact that you may have to wait a little longer for a charger to become available.”
The co-owner of Green 2 Delivery says he would like to see separate commercial charging points which can be used by companies that have electric vans as part of their fleets. This would avoid competition with private car users who want to charge their vehicles.
The company’s mission is to be at the forefront of the green distribution solution for e-commerce and retailers and help to reduce the environmental impact of the current home delivery sector.
Green 2’s network has been created specifically to cater for current electric delivery vehicles allowing for a full UK mainland next day operation.
Strategically placed depots mean a more “localised” personal service along with dedicated charging stations incorporating solar and wind generation infrastructure.
Despite Green 2’s business model being set up to support the charging of their vehicles, the company could still end up using the public charging network.
“The network of charging has to be there to accommodate the larger vehicles,” remarks Lee.
The company provide expert supply chain solutions for retailers and brands that aid in getting their products to the end-user in a timely, sustainable and safe manner.
The Great British EV Rally (GBEVR) is run by Greenfleet UK with the event providing a ‘demonstration’ of UK EV charging infrastructure, combined with clean and innovative vehicle technology.
Sponsored by Lex Autolease, participants were able to demonstrate the roles that EVs can play in UK fleets.
A number of companies took part in the event including the likes of National Grid, Maxus, The AA, Drivetech, Karcher, Webfleet Solutions, BP Pulse, DPD, Paua, OVO Energy, Mitie, Gridserve and Swarco.
Despite some challenges on their journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End, Lee says the company is looking forward to participating in the event again next year.
“The collaboration from all the teams that took part, and the togetherness was amazing. It was a great event and a real showcase of what electric vehicles and vans can do.”
The Green 2 Team were able to show that the type of vehicles used by their business, can get from one end of the British Isles to the other, on electric.
Lee said: “The vans were amazing. Yes, the distances were a little bit of a restriction compared to the cars which meant we were always behind at the check points. However, overall, they performed well and there wasn’t too much of a problem.”
With more than 1,200 electric miles under his belt, Lee is also keen to pass on some top tips to help EV drivers extend the range of their vehicles.
“Coasting is key! When on dual carriageways accelerate at the top of the hill to gain the highest speed and then coast without re-gen on. This helps get the most out of the range even extending it by as much as 10-20 miles on a long trip.”
Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle Dealer group, Rygor Commercials, supplied the vans to Team Green 2 and had them specially sign-written. Rygor owner director, John Keogh, said: “Jason and Lee are committed to building a delivery business with a focus on positive environmental impact and sustainability at its heart. It has been a pleasure to be able to support them with the loan of two Mercedes-Benz eVito vans for the week, along with the delivery and collection of the vehicles to help make their mission a little bit easier!
“It was brilliant to be able to join the guys on the final day of the event, on the Bristol to Cardiff leg of the journey. It was an incredible morning and the eVitos drove like a dream. Well done to both Lee and Jason on their achievement of completing the EV Rally!”
Team Green 2 were also assisted by Jamie Fretwell and James Venables from Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK.
They would like to thank event organiser Colin Boyton, National Grid’s Fleet Manager Lorna McAtear and all the other teams who helped them complete this epic journey.