Ben Nelmes

Co-founder & Head of Policy at New Automotive
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New Automotive is supported by Subak through its Data Cooperative. We are an independent transport research group with a set goal to accelerate and support the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK.

We use data to help people and governments make better decisions, using the huge amount of public web data available about vehicles, about emissions, air pollution, about all aspects of the transition to clean transport. 

Our platform provides data tools as well as consumer products to map sales of EVs by manufacturer and region, as well as create budget calculators for consumers in the market for new vehicles. 

As a demonstration of the power of the insights we receive, most notably, we helped the UK government decide to ban the sale of automobiles that rely on fossil and diesel fuels past 2030.

However, despite our most recent success in the UK, at the moment, governments don’t really have much sight of that data and consumers are struggling to navigate the transition and make decisions about what’s the best car for them for their driving behavior and their needs.

The main driver of this issue is that there’s a huge amount of really valuable data and information out there that is sitting inside companies at the moment and not being shared. 

It might not even be that valuable to the company that has it, but it could be really valuable to other people — whether it’s governments or researchers or consumers. 

Sharing that data allows more people to get access to it and allows more people to benefit from it. It enriches everybody else’s work and can give rise to fantastic collaboration.

We’ve benefited from incredible support and collaboration with The Bright Initiative through getting access to public web data that we can use to influence government policy. 

We’re now growing New Automotive, and we’re looking at expanding what we do into other countries in Europe and around the world, so we’re going to increasingly be looking for new sources of data about the transition to electric vehicles, not just in the UK. 

Our relationship with Subak, in partnership with The Bright Initiative, is obviously going to be a huge help in accomplishing that because public web data is global, and therefore we can extend our practices and reach as such, which is only possible with the access to this crucial data.

I would recommend to any nonprofit or charitable organization to get in touch with The Bright Initiative, find out what they can do for you. Find out how public data can benefit your work and your mission. 

It’s been hugely valuable to us and I think there are lots of organizations that could really benefit from it.

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