News story

Electric car team racing in Mongol Rally arrive at UK Pavilion

First team to enter an electric vehicle in the Mongol Rally arrive at the UK Pavilion, coinciding with 25th anniversary of UK-KZ relations.

Chris Ramsey's Car Charging at the UK Pavilion.

Chris Ramsey's Car Charging at the UK Pavilion.

Scottish adventurer Chris Ramsey from Aberdeenshire and his wife Julie, the first participants to enter the world-famous Mongol Rally in an electric vehicle, have arrived at the UK Pavilion at the International ‘Future Energy’ Astana Expo.

Their visit comes as the UK and Kazakhstan mark the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations.

Whilst at the Expo, the couple will be guests of the UK Pavilion which is supported by the Department for International Trade and has the theme ‘We are Energy’, exploring new ways to harness the various sources of energy that surround us and secure a greener future.

To date, 355,557 people have visited the UK Pavilion which is showcasing the nation’s world-leading expertise in new technologies across the energy sector as well as helping British businesses build contacts in Kazakhstan.

Chris will also speak at the UN’s ‘Options and Solutions for a Clean Energy Future’ environment forum at the Expo and meet with Kazakh government officials to promote electric vehicles and charging technology.

Chris Ramsey, founder of Plug In Adventures, said:

After the 9000km drive from Goodwood to Astana in a 30kw Nissan LEAF, I am wholly committed to demonstrating the huge capability of electric vehicle technology and the positive impact this can have on our planet.

I am very much looking forward to being a part of the UK Pavilion, which comes as bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and the UK reach their 25th year. I hope that my journey can help to promote sustainable trade opportunities between our two countries in the years to come.

International Trade Minister, Greg Hands said:

I have seen first-hand the hugely inspiring UK Pavilion at the Astana Expo, promoting our vision for future energy to more than 355,000 visitors from across the globe. As an international economic department, the Department for International Trade has been a key supporter of the Astana Expo in bringing together countries around the world to develop sustainable energy solutions.

Through his latest adventure, Chris and his team have helped to showcase the UK’s ongoing commitment to world-leading innovation and sustainable technology.

Clean energy

In July this year, the government reaffirmed its commitment to clean energy innovation when it announced a £20 million investment to help develop electric vehicles capable of returning electricity to the grid.

The new investment will support vehicle-to-grid projects as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy and create a smarter energy system, while increasing the numbers of electric cars on UK roads.

Plug In Adventures

Chris is the founder of Plug In Adventures, a venture borne from a combined passion for adventure and electric vehicles. Comprising of a group of electric vehicle enthusiasts based in Scotland, its aim is to engage and champion the cars to the public.

Their participation in the Mongol Rally is not the first driving adventure for Plug In Adventures; in 2015 they drove from John O’Groats to Land’s End and back again and in 2016 they completed the North Coast 500, a 516-mile route around the Scottish Highlands.

The pair is tackling the arduous 16,000km journey from Goodwood to Ulan-Ude, Siberia in a Nissan LEAF which is manufactured in the car maker’s Sunderland Plant. Through participating in the rally alongside some 340 other petrol and diesel cars, Chris is hoping to raise awareness of the capabilities of electric vehicles and the important role they will increasingly play in reducing carbon emissions.

More information

Pictures of Chris, his car and the UK Pavilion can be found on dropbox.

The UK is participating at the Astana Expo which runs for 3 months, ending 10 September. The UK Pavilion shows the UK at its creative best and is sharing the UK’s brilliant scientific and engineering expertise across the energy and mining industries.

The UK Pavilion at Astana promotes the UK as a business partner of choice and a hub of academic excellence.

115+ countries are participating with 5 million visitors expected to pass through the gates of the Expo

Astana Expo is a ‘Specialised Expo’. Such Expos were established by the Bureau International des Expositions in 1988. They are global events dedicated to finding solutions to precise challenges of humanity, such as ocean protection (Expo Yeosu 2012) or the future of energy (Expo Astana 2017).

For further information please visit UK pavilion at Astana or contact

Published 4 September 2017