Catching up with Ade Thomas the mastermind behind World EV Day
World EV Day, which highlights and promotes the role of electric vehicles (EVs) in the move to net-zero and decarbonisation, returns on 9 September
With World EV Day just days away, we caught up with Ade Thomas, the creator of the event, to find out more about the day, where the idea came from and what we can expect in the future. Founded by Green.TV Media in 2020, the inaugural event was widely shared on social media and reached an audience of around two billion people around the world.
This year, World EV Day is partnering with the UK Cabinet Office on the government’s ‘Together for our Planet campaign’, celebrating how people across the UK are going #onestepgreener to tackle climate change.
World EV Day is a big deal and looks set to be even bigger this year, and we have Thomas and his team at Green.TV to thank for that. He’s a master in the world of sustainability and is also the co-founder of the hugely successful annual EV Summit that took place recently. Here’s what he had to say about the upcoming World EV Day:
Why and how did you come up with the idea for World EV Day?
It was during lockdown and I wanted to create a digital platform that would propel engagement and education around sustainable mobility. This was at a time when the only tools we had at our disposal were digital and social media platforms. The idea to have a day to catalyse change, deploying content from governments, NGOs, electric carmakers and charging companies, as we electric vehicle (EV) drivers, and potential drivers, seemed hugely compelling.
That said, taking an idea to execution, harnessing the global automotive and charging infrastructure community, was a big ask. Having a major international headline partner, like engineering firm, ABB, who came on-board early in the process, helped to drive traction.
What did you hope the day would deliver?
The idea went through three stages. At first, we thought World EV Day would be a strong digital marketing communications idea. Then, as organisations saw the utility and excitement of the idea, it grew into an international campaign. Finally, in the last few months leading into World EV Day, it snowballed into a global movement that was highly exciting.
To see all that potential energy converted into the kinetic energy on the day itself was deeply satisfying. To see so much engagement across worldwide social media demonstrated that, in some small way, we had turned the dial on the engagement around sustainable mobility.
How does World EV Day work as a global campaign?
World EV Day is a global social media campaign, with content either created by organisations themselves, or in partnership with the team at Green.TV Media, who are the organisation behind delivering World EV Day. Green.TV create the video assets, the social channels and the master narrative for each year.
This year, in the run-up to COP26, decarbonisation and education, as EV moves from the early adopter margins to the wide engagement mainstream, are the two master narratives. Plus, we are also focusing on accessibility and sustainability.
What is pleasing is how the sustainable mobility community propel the content around their channels via, what I like to call, an amplification network.
Why do you think World EV Day was such a huge success in its first year?
The timing was right. We are on the tipping point from margins to mainstream for emobility, and the education piece, informing and exciting new consumers, came at just the right time. Also, sustainability is front and centre of people’s concerns. People want to move to a new era of sustainable, smart, mobility.
From my side, having developed the high-level business platform, the EV Summit, I had a number of excellent contacts in the emobility sector, and could get buy-in from some very senior people.
What was your most exciting achievement with World EV Day?
For me, seeing social media saturated with content, and content being shared on the day, by people who are perhaps new to the EV community. My favourite moment was seeing a guy in the US, who drove an electric van, holding his baby daughter in his arms, saying that he was pleased there was a day dedicated to EVs because it meant a better future for his young child.
What are your plans for the future of World EV Day?
To further the international scope of the day into China, South America and Africa. For 2022, as the world unlocks from COVID, it would be great to see more real-world grassroots events.
In 2022, we plan to work with major global organisations to roll out a global offer of free EV charging, along with free test drives and offers to try an EV for an extended period of time. I’m also keen to get the ebike community more engaged. I see the ebike as the optimum sustainable transport solution in so many use cases. This includes cargo, taking the kids to school and everyday journeys.
Overall, we created an institution in year one, which I’m super proud of. With a powerful platform of engagement, we want to deploy that platform to deliver decarbonisation in the mobility sector.