Bridgestone Eco-Rally 2011


The annual Bridgestone Eco-Rally ended well last Sunday, July 31st, in the beautiful and royal Mall facing London’s most visited attraction Buckingham Palace.  The goal of the rally, now in its 5th year, was to showcase the best present and future transport to the public by involving celebrities to drive green car awareness.  At this crucial time when public awareness starts to marry political and industry awareness it is important that the interested parties have a place to meet and engage.  The Bridgestone Eco-Rally does just this by using iconic locations and the latest in alternatively fuelled vehicles.

You just have to browse through the supporters of the event to realize what the scope of the event entails and the level of commitment from universities, local authorities, charities, and industry heavies that believes and invests in a future of eco-mobility.  Bridgestone, Start, University of Oxford, Silverstone, Ford, Peugeot, Tesla, to name a few all made the event the most ambitious to date.  To add to the pressure to perform the rally was divided into two legs one convoy, cars and trucks, departed from Oxford whilst scooters and motorbikes left from the famous Ace Cafe.  More info about the rally can be found here...

Highlights

Vienna Bike

Straight from Vienna, Austria, the Vienna Bike’s inventor/designer Valentin Vodev flew in his new foldable, electrically assisted tricycle in search of investors.  The initial phase of getting idea to prototype was funded by a national grant for innovative R&D.  The mega understated tricycle attracted its fair share of attention while the public awaited the arrival of the eco convoy.  Vodev is a product designer who recently graduated from London’s very own RCA and designed the bike to be simple, slim, and functional; so much so that its tough to find the battery and mini motor, both sourced from aviation technology.  It can carry a child seat or an detachable cargo box that has wheels and a pull out handle like a luggage carrier.  Anyone interested in investing should contact Vodev asap…the Vienna Bike looks set to become a winner.  Vienna Bike Website

SRZero

The Racing Green Endurance SRZero started out as an Imperial College Energy Futures Lab project in 2009 and has turned into a phenomenon in its own right.  It is the first electric car to travel the full 26,000km of the Pan American Highway to demonstrate the potential of EV technology.  In doing so they created a legend and a movie to accompany the amazing trip.  With a top speed of 200km/h acceleration of 7 seconds from 0-100 km/h ans range of 400 plus km the SRZero not only broke distance endurance test but also people’s expectations.  Racing Green Website

Lightning GT

This British built rear-wheel electric supercar made its debut at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show to capture the imagination of many.  With 2012 set as the year for its production release creeping up quickly it is good to see the actual vehicle out on the road being used and tested, as it should be.  A new optional range extender has been added to plans taking the pure electric range of 150 miles up to 225 miles and using new advanced battery technology it can have a supercharge in as little as 10 minutes to get you back on track!  Lightning Car Company Website

Delta Motorsports

The Ultra Low Energy Vehicle E-4 Coupe is a compact 4-seater ultra aerodynamic engineering feat, the aim of which is to showcase Delta Motorsports’ capabilities as an engineering consultancy.  ‘Building a car that consumes significantly less energy will allow us to consider a wide variety of choices for energy storage, from hydrogen to batteries’, is Nick Carpenter and Simon Dawson’s, view on alternatively fuelled vehicles.  The E-4 Coupe was striking with scissor doors, aerodynamic styling reminiscent of the original Honda Insight, and carbonfibre seats, even if it is not destined for production it sure makes a strong case for Delta Motorsports’s skills! Delta Motorsport Website

Aston Martin Cygnet by Tom Dixon

Its no secret that Aston Martin needs to bring its overall fleet emissions radically down and thus partnered with Toyota to re-dress the IQ in a luxurious outfit.  Aston Martin went all out at the Bridgestone Eco-Rally with no less than 3 versions of their little Cygnet gems…the star of which was undoubtedly Tom Dixon’s customised Fluoro Orange Cygnet. Cygnet Website

Biobug VW

The Bio-Bug runs on methane gas generated during sewage treatment process.  A scatological statistic tells us that waster flushed down the toilets of just 70 homes in Bristol is enough to power the car for a year. Mohammed Saddiq, GENeco’s general manager, said he was confident that methane from sewage sludge could be used as an alternative energy source and was an innovative way of powering company vehicles. To use biogas as vehicle fuel without affecting vehicle performance or reliability the gas needs to be treated – a process called biogas upgrading. It involves carbon dioxide being separated from the biogas using specialist equipment.  GENeco Website