1,000 km by electric car... laughing all the way
Endesa’s Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain) by electric car has crossed the entire country in 14 stages, covering a distance of 1,635 kilometres and emitting 219.58 kilos less CO2 into the atmosphere. The drivers were accompanied by well-known comedians and monologists.
“The key to everything lies in Padrón peppers.” This reflection, made by A Coruña-born humorist and actor Manuel Burque, seems absurd, but perhaps there is a grain of truth in it (Padrón peppers are a variety of peppers from the municipality of Padrón in the province of A Coruña, which are sometimes spicy and sometimes not). According to his pseudoscientific theory, if it doesn’t rain the peppers are much spicier. And lately they are becoming increasingly difficult to eat because they are more spicy than ever. Conclusion: “These days it rains less, which proves that climate change is a reality,” says Burque, who is clearly concerned about environmental protection.
“We stopped along the way to film the report with the camera crew, which even had a drone for aerial views.”
Jose Javier Carande
The conversation took place in the first Vuelta a España an electric car, organised by Endesa. More specifically, it was in the As Pontes-Lugo stage, one of the 14 on their journey through Spain, in which they covered a distance of more than 1,600 kilometres, testing six different electric models and managing to save 219.58 kilos of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. During these stages, in addition to discussing the electric vehicle, social, economic and environmental sustainability concepts came up in the conversation. The drivers were Endesa employees who participate in the Electric Mobility Plan, because they are the best ambassadors of electric mobility. Each stage was completed by an ENDESA employee accompanied by a comedian. Apart from Burque, humorist Raúl Cimas also participated. “A really nice and witty guy, creative and as funny in real life as he seems on television,” says Francisco Javier Carande, Business Cycle Director at Endesa. He shared with the humorist the Mérida-Badajoz stage, 65 kilometres.
“We stopped along the way to film the report with the camera crew, which even had a drone for aerial views,” explains Carande, while Raúl [Cimas] improvised the script the whole time. You can tell he has a lot of experience.” They even improvised a hilarious English course with the comedian as the unexpected teacher and Carande as a student who simply invented all his lines. The two ended up singing a hilarious version of The Beatles’ Yesterday at the top of their voices (laughing uncontrollably, of course).
“These initiatives are great because you can leave the daily office routine behind and you are in contact with the media, with people from the world of show business… It was a really enjoyable experience,” said Carande. What about the experience with the electric car? “I’ve been a firm believer in this type of mobility for more than six months,” says the participant. “I was worried about the range, but the truth is we have the wrong idea. It has more than enough for my daily trips. I also used to think that the electric car was slow, but it’s not: it has great acceleration. I’m convinced that in less than ten years’ time a lot of people will have one. Imagine a city without noise or pollution from cars… Once we achieve this, there will be no going back. This is the future.”
This first Endesa Vuelta a España by electric car left from Lago de As Pontes in A Coruña and passed through cities such as Zaragoza, Barcelona, Mallorca, Almería, Las Palmas and Mérida. Cameras had been installed in the cars, which made it possible to film the drivers’ sensations and interaction with the guest. These experiences can now be relived thanks to the videos posted on the website of the event.
The last stage took place in Madrid, from Endesa’s headquarters to the Paseo del Prado, with the six electric cars that had crossed the country. The centrally-located street was cut off to traffic and the company installed a dance floor that generates energy, virtual reality glasses for driving in an electric car circuit and a giant Scalextric, in addition to real races with electric vehicles. M. Álvaro Pradana, from the Department of Strategic VAPS, drove in this last stage. Although for him it was nothing new. “It is the future,” he says, “I have one, with more than enough range to go to work and get back home. It is convenient and the feeling you have parking it in a garage and knowing that it isn’t dirty and doesn’t emit unpleasant fumes is hard to beat.” Even though Pradana admits he is a fan of sports cars – classic petrol-driven models. “It’s fine as a hobby, but the electric car is my choice as a daily car. Mine is the BMW i3. It has a sporty feel and has good acceleration at traffic lights. Even the motorbike riders look at me open-mouthed when I leave them behind,” he says.
In view of the enthusiasm of the participants in the Endesa Vuelta a España by electric car, it was undoubtedly a huge success. The company is already preparing next year’s event. Meanwhile, remember: Padrón peppers are better when it rains…