The unprecedented parade of EVs may not have made any noise, but it did make an impact. Now event organizers have their sights set on breaking a second Guinness World Record as well
The Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of a 100 per cent electric car parade was smashed by EV drivers in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que. this month.
In collaboration with Electric Mobility Canada and Earth Day Canada, a total of 733 electric cars lined up on Avenue José-Maria-Rosell on Oct. 24 for the fifth annual Saint-Hyacinthe three-day Electric Vehicle Show. The all-electric gathering beat the previous Guinness record set in Denmark in 2016, which had 402 electric cars.
“The reason why we wanted to organize this event is just to show that there is a clear evolution of electric mobility and electric vehicle adoption in Quebec and Canada…We wanted to show that things are really evolving and more and more people are adopting electric vehicles,” says EMC’s president and CEO Daniel Breton in an interview with Electric Autonomy Canada.
Saint-Hyacinthe, a quiet rural municipality about 60 kilometres from Montreal, is best known for its agricultural industry, but EV drivers across Quebec converged on the city for the event — some coming from as far away as Ottawa and even Burlington, Ont.
“I thought it was really interesting to see that in the middle of a farmland, we would have 733 people coming to this, [but] having been in this field for 20 years, people who like EVs and people who talk about EVs and volunteers who work in the EV field are enthusiasts,” says Breton.
Double world records
The Guinness World Records organization set up strict parameters that needed to be met in order for the new record to be approved.
All cars — which excludes trucks, buses, and scooters — had to be 100 per cent electric; they had to be registered; they had to have driven the 3.2 kilometres of the parade’s procession and cross the finish line in the same order they had started, explains Breton. Seven cars were disqualified from the count for not following the rules.
EMC, says Breton, will also be applying to beat a second record for the event — the largest parade of all types of electric vehicles (including trucks, buses, scooters, motorcycles, etc.) gathered in one place, even though only cars were present at the Saint-Hyacinthe parade. The current record of 576 is held by Switzerland-based organization Louis Palmer for their event at Berlin Tempelhof Airport, in 2015.
For Breton, the most interesting part of the Saint-Hyacinthe event was being surrounded by hundreds of vehicles with no sound coming from them.
“It was really quiet and there was really no pollution, so it was really easy to breathe while all the cars running,” says Breton. “If we had such a gathering with gas vehicles, we would have been suffocating.”
“This shows that in 10, 15 or 20 years from now, when all cars or most cars are electric cars, the level of noise pollution and air pollution will be so much lower when we will have gatherings like this.”
The Saint-Hyacinthe records will be officially approved by the Guinness organization in the coming weeks.