Chris Ramsey will drive a Nissan Ariya E-4ORCE from the North Pole to the South Pole in March 2023. He sat down with me for an interview and we chatted about his achievements, his gratitude for Nissan’s support, and more. This is part one of our interview. In this part, we talk about:
- Chris Ramsey’s inspiration to switch from fossil-fueled vehicles to electric vehicles.
- Founding Plug In Adventures, and how the future of EVs will look 20 years from founding Plug In Adventures.
Chris Ramsey’s inspiration to switch from fossil-fueled vehicles to electric vehicles
Chris Ramsey is an adventurer advocating for sustainable living. He was the first person to drive the Mongol Rally in an EV. He also holds the Guinness World Record for the longest time traveling on an electric bike — 12 hours. We talked a little bit about this, starting with what inspired him to embrace sustainable living.
“It started with me discovering the Nissan LEAF. I talk about my background quite a lot and I’m open about my background. I’m from Aberdeen, Scotland, which is the oil and gas capital of Europe. So, I grew up in the oil and gas capital and that was my background.
“I worked previously in the oil and gas industry and I was researching renewable energy — part of the business that I worked for at that time. And an advert on the sidebar popped up for a Nissan LEAF, an electric car.”
This sparked Chris’ curiosity. He spoke of the concerns of not having enough range or being able to charge the car and how this inspired him to borrow a Nissan LEAF.
“I borrowed a Nissan LEAF [and] drove from the dealership to all three UK capital cities on a long weekend when there were about 60 chargers in the whole of the UK. I had loads of charging challenges — dangling cables outside of hotel windows and you name it, I did it on that trip. Came off that trip and absolutely loved it.”
The trip, he told me, was a nightmare at times due to the lack of charging infrastructure back then. But it was the technology that won him over.
“I just got the technology and loved that side of it. I just thought, ‘I just drove 1,600 miles over one weekend and paid zero for fuel.’ It was all free charging at the time.”
The idea of saving money on fuel is what motivated him to make the switch to electric vehicles.
“When we shared that on social media and created the Plug In Adventures name and shared that journey, people just loved seeing electric cars put through real-world situations and going to the extreme.”
The inspiration, Chris told me, just kept coming. He kept coming up with new ideas and new ways of doing things and then he drove the Mongol Rally, which he’d been wanting to do for around three years.
Founding Plug In Adventures, and how the future of EVs will look 20 years from founding Plug In Adventures
Chris Ramsey founded Plug In Adventures in 2011. The landscape of EVs has changed dramatically since then, and will have changed much more by the 20th anniversary of the founding of Plug In Adventures. I asked Chris to share his thoughts on this and how he sees EVs evolving.
“I think we are seeing it now in the sense that EVs are becoming more normalized. They’re not the quirky vehicle that maybe a friend has in one of 30 people. People are realizing that electric vehicles are more viable for them on a daily basis. As we progress into 2030 and 2032, obviously, a lot of countries like the UK are banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars.
“So, people will have to buy a plug-in vehicle of some sort. Then we’re going to see that it’s just going to become more prevalent. And the mindset is going to change away from people thinking of range anxiety, to conquering long distances, to ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’”
About five years ago, Chris predicted that it would come to the point where the expansion of EVs and technology would usher in a new era of technology. He pointed out that as this new technology develops, people who already have electric cars will not want to move to the newer technology because they are happier with the electric cars they already have.
“That’s the mindset we have as humans.”
It makes sense. I know several people who don’t want to switch from fossil-fueled vehicles to electric ones because they are happy with what they have.
He added that as we continue to tackle the climate crisis, the collective mindset is already beginning to change and be a bit more open.
“I think in 2030, the landscape is going to be a lot better from an electric vehicle perspective, and the vision will be a lot better from a climate crisis points of view. There’s a lot more hope out there. And the planet will start to turn the corner.”
Part 2 coming next.
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