So many people to thank, so many people to remember meeting, so many conversations, handshakes and yes, selfies. So much to see, to hear about, to think about. So much enthusiasm and energy. And clearly, judging by all the comments, tweets and anecdotal evidence, an incredibly friendly gathering.
I can no longer remember what I was expecting from Fully Charged Live 2018 because the experience was so intense it's erased all the anxieties, the multiple concerns, the logistics, the thousands of arrangements that went before. I know should be used to this sort of thing, I have appeared at hundreds of sci-fi conventions over the last 30 years, big events attended by thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of people. Contrary to some popular assumptions the people who attend sci-fi conventions are some of the kindest, polite, gentle and intelligent people I've ever met. I think the same can be said for the 6,000 plus people who attended Fully Charged Live at Silverstone. There was an incredible energy and excitement in the big halls of the Silverstone Wing. It was packed and chaotic, crowded and noisy, the food ran out on day one, the car park was 100 meters away from the hall but a 5 minute drive in Tesla, Zoe, electric bus or clanky old double decker around the maze of service roads at the racing circuit. With all these problems the mood was fantastic, everyone was patient and kind to each other. I know many friendships were struck, people who had previously only communicated via Twitter. Facebook or YouTube comments met for the first time.
I've said it so many times in the last few days but seriously, this was way above anything we expected. The range of things on display, from cars, home energy systems, chargers, charging networks, hardware, software systems, electric bikes, skateboards, and of course the truly inspiring display of converted classic cars was a sight to behold. But the overriding feeling wasn't so much about the success of the event, or even the Fully Charged series. It's about the possibilities of the technological revolution we are witnessing. More and more people are starting to get it, to understand the wider implications of the changes ahead.
The speakers we had at the event were inspiring, people from different companies and organisations that could be seen to be in competition were enthusiastically cooperating and interacting with each other. The drive behind this frenetic activity clearly stems from the knowledge that what we have been doing for the last 150 years is not necessarily in the best interests of ourselves or the multiplicity of creatures we share this small blue dot with. We no longer have the excuse of ignorance, we have a simple choice. Either try to do something about it or, as in the case of the current president of the USA, pout and sulk at the overwhelming evidence that our activities have been destructive and short term and carry on regardless.
So yes, I'm proud of what the small team behind Fully Charged have achieved, but we all acknowledge that what really brought 6,000 people together from all over the world, what inspired 60 Tesla and Zoe owners to ferry hundreds of people from the car park to the venue was the knowledge that we need to actively pursue ideas, innovation and technology that is sustainable and less damaging to the world we may be able to leave our children and grandchildren. This was underlined for me when a young girl, I'm ashamed I can't remember her name, came up to me with her dad and gave me a small laminated message she had made. Apparently, she puts it under the windscreen wiper blade of every parked electric car she sees. On one side is a cartoon image of a happy brain, lungs and heart. On the reverse there's a short message thanking the owner for doing something to make the air cleaner for her to breath.
We will be posting video reports over the coming months, we recorded every talk and interviewed hundreds of people at the event, we filled multiple hard drives with petabytes of video files so now we've got a bit of editing to do.
As always, if you have been, thank you for reading.