The sun was shining brightly, beaming down on the leading lights in hydrogen and alternative fuel technology, as the inaugural Revolve Eco-Rally began in Madeira Drive, Brighton.
Manufacturers like BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Lexus, Modec, Saab, Vectrix, Microcab, and VNC fused with some eco-aware celebrities and dignitaries with support from Transport for London, to ignite and excite, united by a global cause; Zero CO2 emissions.
The event marked the culmination of over 3 years of work from Revolve founders Steven Glaser and Mike Whelan, to create a future free of vehicle emissions.
With the state-of-the-art in hydrogen, fuel cell, biofuel and hybrid science on show, the Eco-Rally succeeded in drawing attention to the amazing technologies that these companies and organizations have been researching, developing, and producing. If you didn’t manage to make it to Brighton, Croydon, or London, then take a seat, and enjoy our Eco Rally Slideshow and other reflections from the day.
After some rousing words from Lisa Rogers, Robert Llewellyn, Baron Steven Bassam, and Steven Glaser; Quentin Wilson lit the touchpaper with the words, “Gentleman, start your fuel cells”. No wheel spins, or stalls, the Eco-Rally left East Sussex for Croydon. The Eco Chauffeur Lexus Hybrid was driven by Steven Glaser, with Lisa Rogers in the BioPower Saab, Quentin Wilson in a Ford Fuel Cell car, and the ever-smiling Robert Llewellyn in the amazing electric-powered Modec van.
With our flags flying proudly the eco-convoy rolled out of Brighton, before hitting an environmentally sound 55 mph velocity on the motorway. Proof that all the vehicles on show were not the result of some daydreaming designers whim, but instead these are fully functional, tested vehicles. Reliable, quiet, and of course, kinder to the environment than conventional vehicles.
We received a very warm welcome from Croydon, the vehicles all made their way through the huge crowds in the North End precinct. People were generally very enthusiastic about seeing these eco-friendly cars, many had questions for the manufacturers and companies on show. One Croydon resident asked me, “How many million would this cost me?” referring to the Lexus GS 450h, and was genuinely surprised to find that he could buy one for less than 50 000 pounds or hire a driver in Dubai, for considerably less than that. Many people were shocked that some of the technology was available right now, and hybrid cars and electric vehicles are being employed as workhorses or by eco-conscious individuals as a safe and practical means of transport. Sure true eco-friendly travel already exists, bicycles and shoes should be the preferred travel method. Yet, zero-emission technology would take you where ever you want to go, without a huge karmic debt or climate change worries for you or your children.
The assemble listened to speeches by Croydon’s Mayor, Labour MP for Croydon North – Malcolm Wicks, Quentin Wilson, and Jenny Jones, a Green member of the London Assembly. Jenny explained how she rarely drove, and that for those journeys that cannot be avoided, driving with zero or low emissions is a huge step forward and she was delighted to lend her support to this event.
Tourists and Londoners in Trafalgar Square watched our progress on huge screens and we were greeted by much fanfare as we parked in the shadow of Nelson’s Column. The media quickly snapped up the sound and video bytes, and on the London Hydrogen Partnership stage, various dignitaries and celebrities told the crowds what a historic event this was, not just for London, Croydon, or Brighton – but for the world. The world’s largest manufacturers in alternative fuelled vehicles, working together to create not just a cleaner London, but a less polluted Croydon and a cleaner world for all of us. The Eco-Rally has demonstrated that right here, right now, the technologies are in place and the motivation is in no doubt, but, the infrastructure needs to be created, right here, right now. So that hydrogen and other zero-emission technologies can replace the stinky old school. One message that was reinforced throughout the Eco-Rally was that by buying the most eco-friendly vehicle or potato you can, you will play your part in helping stop man-made climate change.
iChauffeur were delighted to take part in the event, and hope that next year’s Eco-Rally, will build on the success of this one, to really help drive the message home. Zero emissions are definitely possible, and the public will help deliver it by voting with their wallets, manufacturers realize this, good business sense, is really just good business.
Unlike a conventional vehicular rally, there were no handbrake turns, power slides, or spectacular barrel roll crashes. This was no race to the chequered flag more a positive drive towards a sustainable future. Demonstrating that a win-win solution is within our reach, if we grab the nettle and choose sustainable technologies – we can truly make a difference.
iChauffeur would like to thank Revolve for an enlightening, inspiring, and fun day and indeed the sponsors for investing in the first Revolve Eco-Rally.