GreenCarGuide.co.uk

Menu

Brighton to London Eco-Car Rally

revolve 2007 will be the first event of its kind and will showcase hydrogen and fuel cell powered cars from the world’s leading manufacturers – many of these vehicles will be in the UK for the first time.

The aim of the revolve event, which will take place in Spring 2007, is to place hydrogen and fuel cell powered vehicles firmly in the public eye and demonstrate that they are a viable alternative.

Fuel cells and hydrogen fuel can enable the motor industry to continue to develop and meet the
demands of expanding, car-hungry populations, whilst addressing the urgent need to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen and fuel cells offer viable, practical and clean solutions to the carbon crisis, but enjoy limited public awareness in the UK.

revolve offers a three-day extravaganza celebrating a clean future for the car. The Mayor of London will welcome the cars at the finish line in Trafalgar Square, and after the rally the exciting new range of zero-emissions vehicles will be displayed at Trafalgar Square and Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, when celebrities and the public will get the opportunity to drive the cars.

A Questions & Answers session at Speakers Corner is planned with representatives from the car
manufacturers and fuel companies answering questions from the public and explaining more
about the vehicles and the technology.

The rally is organised by Revolve, the UK’s leading organisation championing emissions-reductions and solutions to combat global warming in vehicles.

The Sunday Times will be covering all aspects of the event and will be producing a special edition Revolve supplement. The event is supported by the Mayor of London, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Transport for London (TfL).

So if hydrogen is the fuel of the future, where are we now? A range of interim technologies has entered the race to succeed the combustion engine, though with limited impact. The majority, such as LPG and natural gas engines, perform reasonably and are considerably cleaner, but continue to produce CO2 and still face the underlying issue of finite stocks. Battery-only electric vehicles offer some of the performance characteristics required, but they simply do not have acceptable range for today’s demands, and one could argue a limited fuel source.

Combustion engine-hybrids offer an important interim solution to fuel economy, but ultimately
they still face the limited fuel stock issue.

Hydrogen-fuelled automotive technology offers genuine solutions to these issues and is
indisputably the successor technology of choice for the principal motor manufacturers and major
fuel supply companies. Hydrogen is a clean fuel and the most abundant element in the universe,
without any apparent depletion issues. When it is simply burnt it is significantly cleaner than hydrocarbon fuels, but it really proves its worth when combined with fuel cell technology, where the silent and highly efficient conversion of hydrogen and oxygen to pure water and electricity takes place at twice the efficiency of combustion engines.

In the interim, several manufacturers view hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engines and
hydrogen combustion engine hybrids as intermediate stepping stones towards fuel cell cars.
Within the decade the principal motor manufacturers will have hydrogen-powered vehicles on sale in showrooms.

There remains a low level of awareness of this significant technology amongst the British public, and consequently public support remains underdeveloped. Without public support there is little incentive for politicians to help create the climate in which bold new technologies can be introduced by industry.

The main project currently demonstrating zero emission fuel cell transport in the UK consists of
three Mercedes buses operated in London by TfL, and fuelled by BP. Urban public transport is an
excellent example of the potential of fuel cell vehicles, and commercialisation of the technology
for transport will begin in this market sector. However there is, as yet, no project demonstrating the relevance of hydrogen and fuel cells in the context of wider transportation.

Since the major centres of R&D for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles are outside the UK, opportunities for the major manufacturers to demonstrate such vehicles in field trials on UK roads are limited.

The revolve event will place examples of hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles from major motor
manufacturers on the UK’s roads in real driving and traffic conditions, publicly showing that
hydrogen and fuel cell technology is a realistic, practical and effective option for general
transport, and is not limited to mass public transport or specialist roles.

If you would like more information or want to be involved in this event, contact Steven Glaser, Director, Revolve Global Ltd, e-mail: steveng@revolve.ws