Transport Minister and industry leaders discuss future of electric vehicles at Go Ultra Low Hay Festival Panel

May 29th 2018, London – Go Ultra Low will be hosting its first-ever panel on the future of electric vehicles at this year’s Hay Festival. The panel, chaired by broadcaster, author and electric car expert Robert Llewellyn, brings together influential speakers from the Government, and the automotive and energy sectors, to share insights on how they are working together to accelerate the transition to electric mobility.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman MP will provide a perspective from Government, covering the policies that are facilitating the growth of the electric car sector, while Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), will be offering an industry-wide view on how the automotive sector and government can collaborate effectively and accelerate electric car uptake.

Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO of Hyundai UK, will outline Hyundai’s plans for how it will transition to an increased number of electrified powertrains, including hydrogen fuel cell, and how the company expects technology and the UK market to develop in the coming years. Meanwhile Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles, will be on hand to discuss how the energy sector will adapt to accommodate increased numbers of electric cars interacting with the grid, the increasing use of renewables and the number of tariffs available.

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “Continued collaboration between government and industry to drive uptake of plug-in cars will play a vital role in achieving shared ambitions of improving air quality and climate change commitments. With its strong track record on sustainability and encouraging debate on environmental issues, the Hay Festival is the ideal setting for a discussion on how government and industry are driving the transition to low emission driving.”

Jesse Norman, Roads Minister, said: “The government is committed to meeting our climate change targets and improving air quality, which is why we are investing £1.5bn in support for ultra-low emission vehicles by 2021.

“We are working closely with industry to realise these ambitions. The Hay Festival is renowned for its ability to bring different kinds of expertise together to solve problems, and it is a delight for me as a Minister and local MP to take part in this event.”

Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles, said: “Speeding the transition to a zero carbon future will mean forming new partnerships and new ways of thinking, breaking the old models and building new products and services to capture people’s imaginations – like the Agile Octopus energy tariff, which could even pay EV drivers to charge up their vehicles. It’s brilliant that government, car manufacturers and retailers are collaborating with events like the Hay Festival to get people excited about electric vehicles, and I’m delighted to be a part of it.

The panel, entitled Electric Vehicles: How Low Can We Go?, will take place at 10am on Thursday 31st May in the Oxfam Moot venue. Tickets are available from the Hay Festival Website.




About Go Ultra Low

The Go Ultra Low campaign aims to increase purchase consideration of electric vehicles by helping motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the wide range of plug-in and hydrogen-powered vehicles on the market. The campaign works to educate public and fleet audiences about these vehicles, addressing myths and highlighting benefits, including how they offer competitive practicality for private and business users. provides a one-stop shop for information about owning and running electric vehicles, the makes and models available, and the locations of the thousands of publicly-accessible chargepoints.

Twitter:             @GoUltraLow



About Hay Festival

Hay Festival brings readers and writers together to share stories and ideas in sustainable events around the world. The festivals inspire, examine and entertain, inviting participants to imagine the world as it is and as it might be. Nobel Prize-winners and novelists, scientists and politicians, historians and musicians talk with audiences in a dynamic exchange of ideas. The Festival’s global conversation shares the latest thinking in the arts and sciences with curious audiences live, in print and online. Hay Festival also runs wide programmes of education work supporting coming generations of writers and culturally hungry audiences of all ages.

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Go Ultra Low PR Contacts

For more information on Go Ultra Low, images or comment:

Lucy Bielby

T: 020 7413 3085