You don’t need to be a car expert to understand how electric vehicles (EVs) are giant portable batteries. Developments in bidirectional charging allow even small EVs to function as virtual power plants. Ford’s F-150 Lightning has successfully powered homes during hurricanes, Hyundai has used its IONIQ cars to power hotels, and plenty of other examples exist.
However, you may not think an EV plugged into a charger could power a music festival. Well, part of a music festival.
At CarFest in England this summer, BP Pulse put the power of its chargers on display. From Aug. 25–28, a silent disco powered entirely by EVs was a top attraction.
Four cars were plugged into a tent, powering DJ equipment, lighting, and mobile phone charging stations, each supplying about 200kWh of energy across three days.
BP Pulse was also the official fast-charging provider for all EVs going to CarFest. Six portable battery-powered chargers were located around the festival grounds, the 2,500-acre Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire.
The grounds are owned by former 1979 Formula 1 champion Jody Scheckter. The farm is run with organic and biodynamic agricultural techniques. You can find cattle, sheep, and water buffalo strolling the fields. According to the CarFest website, Laverstoke produces a wide range of cheeses, black pudding (a British sausage dish), ice cream, and sparkling wine.
Photo Courtesy Issuewire
The festival debuted in 2012 when promoter/DJ Chris Evans decided to throw it for charity. Funds are raised for several U.K. children’s charities and nonprofits, including BBC Children In Need, Young Epilepsy, and Ellen MacArthur Trust. Around 15% of all ticket sales go to charity.
At the silent disco, Evans stopped by to play a special set. He joined celebrity brothers AJ and Curtis Pritchard as some of the notable names who stopped by the tent. A DJ battle on Friday pitted the Pritchards against one another, while Evans’ set was on Saturday.
BP also sponsored a Music Workshop to provide music lessons and performance opportunities. The energy giant is also funding an electric bus that will travel 7,500 miles yearly to “create memorable live music experiences.”
“This is the first time that BP Pulse has sponsored CarFest, and we wanted to shine a light on both the power of EVs and the capability of BP Pulse in a fun and engaging way to highlight their capabilities,” Paul Goodmaker, BP’s global sponsorship director, said in a press release. “Recent developments in vehicle-to-load (V2L) technology enabled us to plug EVs into four different areas of the silent disco to charge the headsets, power the tent’s lighting and DJ equipment, and provide mobile phone charging lockers.”
Photo Courtesy BP Pulse
Attendees viewed more than 500 models from several brands. Daily shows consist of throwback hits as well as emerging musical acts, including R&B singer Craig David, Rick Astley (yes, the Rick-Roll Rick Astley), The Feeling, and others. Comedian Russell Brand was also in attendance. At the car exhibits, former Top Gear host Richard Hammond and McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris hung out with fans.
“We’re proud to have worked with CarFest to offer festival-goers a truly unique off-grid entertainment experience and to have brought our positive energy to such a wide audience,” Goodmaker said.
BP Pulse’s silent disco is another example of how electric cars can be useful besides being modes of transportation. More of these features are becoming standard as automakers hope people will see the benefits of owning and operating an EV.