Winner announced of schools competition to promote zero emission transport

Ben Fogle’s Hero to Zero Emission Miles Challenge asked pupils to count the number of emission-free miles they travelled over the course of a week

Winners have been announced of a schools competition designed to promote the uptake of electric vehicles.

Ben Fogle’s Hero to Zero Emission Miles Challenge saw pupils aged 7-11, from 630 UK schools, compete to achieve the most zero emission miles by walking, cycling, using public transport, or journeying in an electric vehicle (EV).

The winner, Lottie Cleevely of Churchdown Village Junior School, Gloucestershire, covered 208 zero emission miles over a seven-day period, thanks to walking and being driven in an electric vehicle.

The number of EVs on our roads is continuing to accelerate, with one registered every seven minutes in 2019
 – Head of Go Ultra Low, Poppy Welch

For her efforts, she will be rewarded with a trip to the London ePrix for electric racing cars, while Churchdown school will be visited by Fogle, the minister for transport, George Freeman MP, and an expert to teach pupils about the benefits of electric vehicles.

“I’m all for encouraging the younger generation to make more sustainable travel choices,” said Fogle, and I enjoyed reading the pupil’s entries of where they could travel to using low emission transport.

“It’s great to see how engaged the next generation is regarding EVs and sustainability.”

In the UK, 2019 electric car sales were up 144% on the previous year

Cumulatively, entrants achieved a total of 5,717 zero emission miles over the duration of the competition, four miles greater than the distance from the UK to Japan. It also amounted to over 1.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions saved, the amount produced by boiling more than 600,000 kettles.

The contest was organised by Go Ultra Low – a joint government and industry campaign to raise awareness about the cost savings and capabilities of plug-in and hydrogen-powered vehicles – with more than 100,000 children given lessons on the importance of zero emission travel and the benefits of electric vehicles.

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“As we’ve already seen over the past 12 months, the number of EVs on our roads is continuing to accelerate, with one registered every seven minutes in 2019,” said head of Go Ultra Low, Poppy Welch.

Purchases were up 144% on 2018, with 72,000 registrations, equating to 1.6% of 2.3 million total new car sales.

“EVs cost as little as 1p per mile to run, can help improve local air quality, and are great fun to drive, so it’s no wonder people in the UK people are making more and more sustainable transport choices,” added Welch.

“The idea of this competition was to engage future generations and help educate them about EVs, which will increasingly become the norm as they reach adulthood. We’re delighted with the participation and engagement from schools across the country and would encourage the pupils to pursue their pledges which will help to reduce their personal carbon emissions.”

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