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The Eden Project’s Sexy Green Car Show

If you want to see green cars in the metal, never has there been a better chance. Green-Car-Guide is running its own Green Car Show on the 12 June in Liverpool, and the Eden Project is running its Co-operative Insurance Sexy Green Car Show for the second year, from 23-31 May, at the home of the world’s biggest plant Biomes, near St Austell in Cornwall.

Eden intends to build on the success of last year’s first-ever show by having more vehicles on display – and by testing their green credentials at what is normally a car-free zone.

The most eco-friendly version of Ford’s best-selling Focus, the low-emission ECOnetic, is to make its public debut at the Show.

With a 1.6-litre diesel engine, the car produces 115g of CO2 per kilometre and boasts fuel economy of almost 66 miles per gallon. The environmental impact of the car’s production is also reduced as its engine is assembled at Ford’s wind-powered Dagenham Diesel Centre.

Classic British manufacturer Morgan’s futuristic LIFECar is also to make its UK debut. Based upon the design of the company’s ultra-sleek Aero-8 roadster, the LIFECar combines unique futuristic styling with Morgan’s trademark retro-charm. The LIFECar concept was the brainchild of Morgan and Hugo Spowers of RiverSimple, a specialist company investigating new ideas in environmentally sound transport.

Morgan and Spowers say it has an energy consumption equivalent to 150 miles per gallon on petrol, can reach 0-60 miles per hour in just seven seconds, has a top speed of up to 85 miles per hour and has an average range of 250 miles.

Unlike hybrid and bio-fuel cars already on the market, the LIFECar produces zero harmful emissions – the only waste product released from the car is water vapour.

The car also employs the latest braking technology which allows it to store the energy used when braking much more efficiently than in normal regenerative braking systems. This energy is stored in a bank of ultra capacitors which can absorb and release energy more efficiently and quickly than batteries. The result is that up to 50 per cent of the energy used to brake can then be re-used to accelerate and the fuel cell can be much lower power without affecting the acceleration. Along with the unique combination of technology, the car is designed to be as minimalist and lightweight as possible to improve fuel efficiency.

Lotus is also bringing its Exige 270E Tri-Fuel to the event . It has a top speed of 158 mph and does 0-60 mph in 3.88 seconds, yet runs on petrol, bioethanol or methanol. Ultimately, the sports car could be ‘carbon-neutral’, says Lotus Engineering. Its emissions would be balanced by recovering waste carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to make methanol. Within 15-20 years, Lotus hopes to see large-scale methanol production ‘recycling’ the carbon dioxide produced by factories.

There is also the launch of a new small family car which the makers claim will be the most sustainable on the road. British company Axon Automotive will be showcasing their yet-to-be-named eco-friendly hatchback in the shadow of Eden’s world-famous Biomes.

Axon Automotive, based in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, aims to be the most sustainable car manufacturer in Europe and launched the company at last year’s Sexy Green Car Show with their Eco-M edition of the Caterham 7 Classic.

They claim their new eco-friendly hatchback will be capable of delivering 100 miles per gallon with sub-80g per kilometre CO2 emissions. The hatchback features a carbon fibre body (some of it recycled) to create a lightweight vehicle that combines good performance with fuel efficiency that is better than any car currently on the market.

While most of its “low carbon” competitors are looking at alternative fuels, Axon are making a conventionally-fuelled car with reduced weight and excellent aerodynamics.

Steve Cousins, Managing Director of Axon, said: “This approach halves fuel consumption whichever fuel you use and we get phenomenal economy from a small petrol engine combined with an IVT (infinitely variable transmission).

The major manufacturers showing off their latest low-emission cars at the show will be Ford, Citroen, Honda, Peugeot, Saab, Fiat and Volkswagen.

Eden’s Gus Grand, the show’s executive producer, said:

“The show will be bigger and more animated than last year when the first-ever Sexy Green Car Show attracted world-wide interest among car makers, the media and the public. The greenest cars from the world’s biggest manufacturers will be on show – and smaller British car-makers who will also be at the show will have some surprises up their sleeves.

“The whole of the Eden site will be used this year, with more animation, demonstrations, exhibits and talks taking place.

“On the opening day, we will host a conference called Future Perfect – Here Now! It will show how science fiction is becoming science fact in car manufacture. There will be other big events throughout the show and at least one major new eco car launch is planned.”

Gus Grand added:

“If the UK is serious about cutting its carbon emissions from road transport by 80 per cent by 2050, as the recent King Review of low carbon cars says is possible, then the Sexy Green Car Show points to the way forward by showing some of the least harmful cars on the planet, and proving that green can be sexy too.”

So if you can get to Cornwall sustainably, get to the Eden Project’s show. If you are based nearer to the North West, come along to Green-Car-Guide Live! 2008 on the 12 June in Liverpool.