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The Lookers Electric Charge has been blazing a trail down the UK since its launch in Dublin back in May, with the electric car relay currently visiting Lookers dealerships in the South, including Essex, Kent and Surrey as it makes its way to the finish line at Mercedes-Benz of Eastbourne on October 7th.
The Lookers Electric Charge has seen a relay of electric vehicles travel 2,000 miles to destinations including all 155 of Lookers’ franchised dealerships, where a wide range of fundraising activities have been taking place, from carbon neutral days and green energy workshops to test drive events and golf days.
The challenge represents this year’s Industry Leader Challenge run by automotive charity Ben, which is passed on every year by a business or organisation within the automotive sector to raise vital funds. These are used to help the charity support those within our industry that have fallen on hard times.
The route has also been carefully mapped out to include some key locations that have become pivotal to the UK’s electric car industry. One such location was the Nissan Plant in Sunderland, which the relay visited as part of the challenge’s North East leg. The plant is also the home of the Nissan Leaf, a car that continues to push the electric car conversation forward and confirm EVs as the future of everyday motoring.
But what of the new breed of electric car? As well as highlighting the history and progression of EVs, the Electric Charge has also been showcasing some of the most up to date electric and hybrid models on the market. One such car is the Jaguar I-PACE, which has been a key part of the challenge having been previewed by Lookers Jaguar Land Rover at the London Motor Show in May to help kick things off.
During its Southern residency the relay also recently visited Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich Facility, which, as well as making cars like the XF, XJ and the F-Type sports car, is readying itself for the electric car revolution with the launch of a Electrification Centre of Excellence. The centre is the perfect stage for the I-PACE, allowing visitors to the factory to get a real sense of where the technology is headed and the challenge that Jaguar has set itself in becoming one of the market leaders in performance electric cars.
Lookers sent racing driver and group ambassador Johnny Mowlem to the facility’s track to carry out a guest test drive, a video of which you will soon be able to see at LookersWebTV.
While there, Johnny met up with Giles Lenthall, Global Product Manager for the I-PACE, who was excited about the niche that the car has already made for itself.
He said: “The I-PACE is absolutely a no compromise electric vehicle. Perhaps in the past some drivers have been reluctant to embrace electric as the cars available didn’t really fit in with their lifestyle. In this way the I-PACE is changing perceptions, whether because of its extra range, its looks, or its power. It’s a car that’s helping to make people more aware and accepting of the technology.”
Before the Electric Charge comes to an end in October it will also be visiting the Ford Dunton Technical Centre and will feature the new Ford Mondeo Hybrid, a car that has been hotly anticipated for some time.
The news will be welcome for fans of the Mondeo, particularly at a time when Ford is overhauling its range.
If electrification means making better cars as well as securing some of the UK’s best loved models, the future looks bright.
There’s lots to cram in before we announce the total raised by the Electric Charge at the Ben Ball in December and you can keep up with all the action on the Lookers Electric Charge microsite at LOOKERS.CO.UK/EC4BEN, the Lookers YouTube Channel LookersWebTV, and Lookers’ Facebook and Twitter pages @lookersgroup, all of which use the hashtag #LookersEC4Ben. We still have a lot of surprises lined up, including being joined by a major TV personality as part of the route. So keep posted!