PHOTO CAPTION: French-built MIA electric van similar to the one that will participate in Eco-Rally in England.

Eco-Rally To Test Mettle of E-Drive Vehicles

Eco-Rally to run between Oxford and London, with special emphasis on hybrids, range-extenders and fully-electric vehicles

Published: 15-Aug-2012

Oxford – London, Saturday 18 August 2012 - invited journalists and special guests will put new technology and services to the test on an everyday journey from Oxford to London in the sixth annual Eco-Rally - organised by Revolve.

The Eco-Rally is not a static motor-show or an economy run. The event uses the most eco-friendly cars available today and existing refuelling infrastructure whenever possible.

Whilst previous eco-rallies have featured a vast array of alternative fuels including everything from hydrogen to waste wine; this year’s event sees a big emphasis on hybrids, range-extenders and fully-electric vehicles, with UK debuts from the likes of Ford, Mia Electric, Zero Motorcycles and Rieju.

Electric vehicles have always featured in the final inner-city leg of the event, but technology moves fast and this year extended range vehicles and faster recharge times, mean more electric vehicles can take part on the entire rally from Start to Finish.

The range of most electric cars is greatly reduced when travelling at high speeds, but the 2012 event will be led by a Vauxhall Ampera EREV electric police car that is free of the usual restrictions of batteries, and which recently won the title of “European car of the Year”. This year the rally also features hybrids like the Peugeot 3008 - the world's first diesel-electric production car.

Another hurdle to green motoring is the high purchase cost of electric cars, but the event features affordable green cars as well as green motorbikes, as well as demonstrating ways of driving the very latest green cars without the hassle and expense of ownership.

Former Top Gear presenter and regular Eco-Rally guest driver, Quentin Willson has driven some of the world’s best green cars over the years but for the first time, he will be bringing his own green car to the 2012 Eco-Rally – as well as sampling others at the event!

However, the Eco-Rally is not all about electric. The event also features Europe's most fuel-efficient compact diesel family car - Ford Focus Econetic as well as Ford’s world speed record-breaking EcoBoost petrol engine – amazingly small enough to fit on an A4 sheet of paper.

The Route
The classic gothic architecture of Oxford University’s Museum of the History of Science , sets the scene for the start of this green pilgrimage. Oxford is positioning itself as the electric car capital of Europe, and already has over 65 public EV charge points installed by Chargemaster in and around the city.

The convoy then powers down the M40 motorway (dubbed the ‘Electric Highway’ for its network of EV charging stations) to London’s most iconic motoring drive-thru, the Ace Cafe London. This pit-stop marks the start of the inner-city leg of the 2012 Eco-Rally. During the morning an eclectic mix of city cars, bikes, scooters and kit cars will be on display at Ace Cafe London.

Electric vehicles as well as their drivers will get the opportunity to “recharge” during their stop at the Ace Cafe, at a temporary “Pod Point” EV charge point.

At 2pm the quiet cavalcade leaves the buzz of the North Circular and heads towards central London, scheduled to arrive in Waterloo Place, SW1, near Trafalgar Square, between 2.30pm and 3pm.

The Finish Line
Members of the public will be able to see the entire spectrum of green transport options available all in one place, all in a free exhibition including - amazing solar racing machines, supercar exotica, Westminster City Council’s own car-sharing scheme - in partnership with Zipcar. They can also collect a free copy of a special future transport edition of Cleantech Magazine featuring a pull-out guide on the entire Eco-Rally.

The Eco-Rally brings together all the ingredients to help make our towns and cities, not only cleaner with less carbon emissions, but also congestion free.

Why use four wheels when two will do? Why pay for a car every day when you only use it once or twice a week? Why drive through the centre of town, when a route finder will find you a faster, less congested route?

From famous brands, to exciting concept prototypes, from green racing machines, to utility and fleet vehicles, from EV charging devices to fuel enhancing technology, it’s all at the Eco-Rally 2012.

Driving Forward
In support of the Eco-Rally, on Thursday 16 August 2012, Revolve Global Ltd and Cleantech Investor are hosting a high level conference – “Investing in Future Transport”, the aim of which to present investment opportunity in innovative vehicle developers in this sector. Supported by Deputy Mayor of London, Kit Malthouse and hosted by TV presenter, Quentin Willson, speakers at the conference include Dr Graham Cooley, CEO - ITM Power, Patrick Head, Co-Founder – Williams Formula 1, and Dr Dominic Emery, Chief Development Officer – BP Alternative Energy.

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