Well, I must admit, I had almost given up on it. But then I got this message from the Danish electric car union, which had worked very hard to organize this particular attempt to beat the world record of the largest parade of electric vehicles:
It is with great pleasure that the Danish electric car union, Forenede Danske Elbilister (FDEL), is now able to announce that Guinness World Records has recently validated the more than 3 kilometer long parade consisting of 402 electric cars taking place at the opening ceremony of the Silkeborg highway, as an official world record.
Wow! We are Officially Amazing on Guinness World Records.
This was September 11, 2016 — the year electric car sales in Denmark died. But let’s not dwell on the issue of Denmark being so much behind everyone else in the electric car business — for now.
Lets instead focus on the fact that on this sunny day, the Danish EV owners showed that they actually believe the future of transportation will be electric.
The parade was part of a festival celebrating the opening of a new highway stretching round the beautiful city of Silkeborg. The project had been controversial due to the fact that it would pass straight through a very unique landscape, but even the skeptics went silent when they saw the result. It is — for a highway — very beautifully built.
We joined the parade in our Nissan LEAF. And together with 401 other plug-in electric vehicles (no hybrids allowed), we were the first cars to roll onto the new asphalt. It was a stunning experience.
With relatively low speed all through, with warm weather and all windows open, we heard nothing but chatter from other drivers and passengers — and birds.
Being in the middle of the parade, seeing nothing but cars stretching both backward and forward, we realized we were speaking in very low voices, not to disturb nature. It was surreal.
This went on for an hour. The silence. The occasional cheering from crowds standing on bridges that we passed under. The cool late summer breeze. My father next to me, pondering on his worries about the extent of pollution in the world. My son and his friend in the back, just chilling, taking photos.
This was a chance for me to reflect on what was going on in the automotive industry — a sense of joy of what I was witnessing here, but also a sense of fear that we might be too late. I thought about the fact that even if all cars sold from this day were electric, it would take at least 20 years to rid the roads of the world from ICE vehicles.