Last weekend saw the 2012 running of the RAC’s Future Car Challenge – the established motoring event for electric, hybrid, hydrogen and ultra-green internal combustion engine vehicles to showcase the future of environmentally friendly motoring.
The 63-mile run from Brighton to London culminated with the field lining up on Saturday afternoon for the Regent Street Motor Show – and there were plenty of celebrities on hand to drum up awareness for the RAC-backed event.
Well-known participants included Red Dwarf actor and green car advocate Robert Llewellyn in a Vauxhall Ampera, radio DJ Mark Goodier in a Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Team GB Olympic Swimmer Ross Davenport in a Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid and former Top Gear Stig Ben Collins in a Nissan Leaf.
‘The one who doesn’t speak’ – as he was known on the BBC2 motoring show – is a great supporter of future technologies and improving efficiency in the automotive sector:
“The pace of change in technology has been phenomenal, especially for electric and hybrid cars where fuel efficiency is finally being matched by performance. That's how Audi won the Le Mans 24 hours this year [the first ever diesel hybrid to do so] and how I hauled an electric powered supercar like the Tesla around the Top Gear track as fast as a Ferrari!
“It’s great to be involved in the RAC Future Car Challenge because it’s helping the roll-out of infrastructure to make electric cars and vans a practical reality. This superb event showcases just how far electric vehicles have come, how easy they are to use and how affordable they are to run”.
This year’s running of the event – the third annual Future Car Challenge – saw the number of awards categories increased to encompass the most energy efficient vehicles by size and type (saloon, sports car, light commercial vehicle), as well as best electric, extended range, hybrid, hydrogen and internal combustion engined vehicles.
The input from manufacturers was as strong as ever too, with vehicles from Renault, Vauxhall, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar and Land Rover all taking part, as well as the myriad specialist high-efficiency alternative propulsion efforts.
And it was an excellent event again, with more than a few surprises featuring on the winner’s rostrum. Read our blog on RAC Future Car Challenge: the winners to find out the top performers from this year’s RAC Future Car Challenge.