RAC Future Car Challenge
The RAC Future Car Challenge event took place on 5 November 2011; the aim of the event was to drive from Brighton to London using the least energy possible, and a variety of the latest low carbon vehicles took part.
The roots of the event can be traced back to 1896, when the first ever London to Brighton car run took place. Even then the vehicles had a range of powertrains including the internal combustion engine, electric and steam.
That early road trip is still celebrated by the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which took place the day after the RAC Future Car Challenge, on the same route but in reverse.
In total more than 65 vehicles took part in the Future Car Challenge, representing different manufacturers with a variety of low emission powertrain technologies ranging from diesel to hybrid to electric.
The route from Brighton to London was 57 miles in length and it had to be completed using the least energy possible within the 2 hours 45 minutes minimum and 3 hours 30 minutes maximum time permitted. Imperial College London monitored the energy usage using data-loggers which measured fuel consumption and CO 2 emissions, or current and voltage in the case of electric vehicles.
Cars started off from Madeira Drive in Brighton from 7.30am, with a half-way stop at Central Sussex College, Crawley. The finish was at Pall Mall in central London, and the cars were then displayed in Regent Street, along with 100 of the cars due to take part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, and 50 Jaguar E-Types and 50 original Minis.
Paul Clarke, Founder and Editor of Green-Car-Guide.com,
drove an electric BMW ActiveE in the event
– see our separate report.
, former government minister and owner of Drayson Racing
Other drivers in the event included former government minister Lord Drayson, British Formula One 1996 World Champion Damon Hill OBE, Kevin McCloud (presenter of Grand Designs) and Robert Llewellyn – who is about to film another series of Red Dwarf, in which he plays Kryten.
Damon Hill OBE, British Formula One 1996 World Champion
Robert Llewellyn, shortly before departing to film another series of Red Dwarf
There were five vehicle energy classes: Pure Electric (EV), Extended-Range/Plug-In Hybrid (E-REV, PHEV), Hybrid (HV, HEV), Hydrogen (HFEV) and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) – up to 110g/km CO ? emissions – ‘fuelled by any legal means’.
The overall event winner was
former Formula 1 designer Gordon Murray and his lightweight electric T.27 city car
The T.27 lightweight city car won ‘Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype)’, ‘Best Overall Pure Electric Vehicle’ and ‘Best Overall Entry – RAC Future Car Challenge Winner’.
The T.27 covered the 57.13 miles from Brighton to London carrying 2 occupants, inside the allocated time using less than 64 pence worth of energy – equivalent to 350 mpg (0.81 litres / 100 km) and only 37 g/km CO2.
On a full charge, taking only 4 hours, the T.27 can do more than 100 miles.
Gordon Murray Design chose the RAC Future Car Challenge to be the T.27’s public running debut after the car’s launch in July this year as “The World’s Most Efficient Electric Car”.
Professor Gordon Murray of Gordon Murray Design said: “This win represents a huge step forward in our race to reduce automotive energy consumption and emissions. This year’s success in combination with last year’s win with our petrol-powered T.25, awarded ‘Most Economic Small Passenger ICE Vehicle’ and ‘Most Economic and Environment Friendly Small Passenger ICE Vehicle’, proves absolutely that lightweight is our most powerful tool for solving our energy problems. Our team is proud to have worked with the Technology Strategy Board and our other partners on this exciting programme and we look forward to working with a manufacturing partner to make the T.27 with its low running costs available to the motoring public.”
There was also an award for the ‘public choice’, which went to the
Delta E-4 Coupe
An interesting result was the car that won the Best Overall Hybrid Vehicle – rather than being a brand new production hybrid, it was the
Oaktec Honda Insight rally car
– see our separate story.
SEE THE FULL RESULTS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARTICLE
The winning cars were as follows:
Best Overall Entry – RAC Future Car Challenge Winner, no. 27, Gordon Murray Design T.27
People’s Choice – No. 44,
Delta E-4 Coupe
Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Production) – No. 2, Smart fortwo electric coupe
Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype) – No. 27,
Gordon Murray Design T.27
Most Energy Efficient Regular Car (Production) – No. 3, Nissan Leaf
Most Energy Efficient Regular Car (Prototype) – No. 43, VW Golf Blue e-motion
Most Energy Efficient Large Car (Production) – No. 42, Peugeot 508 e-HDI
Most Energy Efficient Sports Car (Production) – No. 18, Tesla Roadster
Most Energy Efficient Sports Car (Prototype) – No. 54, Jaguar E-Type
Most Energy Efficient Multi-Purpose (Prototype) – No. 41, Proton Exora REEV
Best Overall Pure Electric Vehicle – No. 27, T.27 Gordon Murray Design
Best Overall Extended Range/Plug-In Hybrid (E-REV, PHEV) Vehicle – No. 41, Proton Exora REEV and No. 21, Toyota Prius Plus-In Hybrid
Best Overall Hybrid (HV, HEV) Vehicle – No. 68, Oaktec Honda Insight rally car
Best Overall Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicle – No. 67, Mini Cooper D Olympic Edition
Best Overall Vehicle On Sale At Time Of Event – No. 3, Nissan Leaf
Best Overall Private Entry – No. 8, Lotus Elise S1 Electric
Most Energy Efficient Light Commercial Vehicle (Production) – No. 46, Mercedes Benz, Vito E-Cell
Most Energy Efficient Light Commercial Vehicle (Prototype) – No. 62, Citroen Nemo Van Electric
Here are some other significant vehicles that took part:
Lightning GT battery-electric sports car
|27||Gordon Murray Design||Gordon Murray Design T.27 (EV)||7.0|
|54||Windreich AG||Jaguar E-Type Electric (EV)||8.5|
|70||Electric Vehicle Company||smart fortwo coupe electric (EV)||9.7|
|43||Volkswagen Group UK||Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion (EV)||10.1|
|08||Mr Russ Sciville||Lotus Elise S1 Electric (EV)||11.0|
|16||Mr Neil Hutchinson||MG MGF Electric (EV)||11.1|
|44||RAC Foundation||Delta E-4 Coupe (EV)||11.5|
|Proton Saga EV (EV)||11.5|
|32||Electric Vehicle Company||Mercedes-Benz A-Class Electric (EV)||11.6|
|Volkswagen Lupo Electric (EV)||11.7|
|01||Volkswagen Group UK||Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion (EV)||12.1|
|60||MINI UK||Mini-E (EV)||12.2|
|04||Delta Motorsport/EEMS||Delta E-4 Coupe (EV)||12.3|
|39||BMW UK||BMW ActiveE (EV)||12.6|
|62||Electric Vehicle Company||Citroen Nemo Van Electric (EV)||13.5|
|03||RAC Motoring Services||Nissan Leaf (EV)||14.1|
|12||British Gas||Nissan Leaf (EV)||14.3|
|56||High Gear Media||Nissan Leaf (EV)||14.9|
|18||Mr Mark Edmond||Tesla Roadster (EV)||15.1|
|36||British Gas||Nissan Leaf (EV)||15.6|
|02||The Royal Automobile Club||smart fortwo coupe electric (EV)*||16.3|
|38||Lightning Car Co/|
|Lightning GT (EV)||16.8|
|57||Mercedes-Benz UK||smart fortwo coupe electric (EV)*||17.6|
|66||Mercedes-Benz UK||smart fortwo coupe electric (EV)*||17.6|
|63||Mercedes-Benz UK||smart fortwo coupe electric (EV)*||17.7|
|09||Imperial College London||Radical SRZero (EV)||20.3|
|21||Toyota GB||Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV)**||27.6|
Nasional SDN.BHD. (Proton)
|Proton Exora REEV (E-REV)**||27.6|
|47||British Gas||Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV)**||28.8|
|68||Mr Paul Andrews||Honda Insight (HEV)||29.8|
|11||Toyota GB||Toyota Auris Hybrid (HEV)||36.0|
|26||Peugeot UK/What Car?||Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 Crossover (HEV)||37.7|
|29||Robert Bosch GB||Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 Crossover (HEV)||39.5|
|42||Peugeot UK||Peugeot 508 Hdi***||44.6|
|53||Volkswagen Group UK||Volkswagen Passat Blue-motion (ICE)||46.8|
|67||MINI UK||Mini Cooper Diesel***||49.5|
|49||BMW UK||BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics (ICE)||50.6|
|20||Goodyear Tyres||Fiat 500 Twin Air (ICE)||52.8|
|05||FIA Foundation||Peugeot 508 Hdi (ICE)||59.3|
|15||Bodsham Electric Vehicles||Bodsham Hatchback (EV)||TBC|
|17||Zytek Automotive||Zytek Mercedes Vito III Taxi Electric (EV)||CAN failed|
|28||Mr Neil Robertson||smart fortwo diesel (ICE)||No MPG Data|
Nasional SDN.BHD. (Proton)
|Proton Persona Elegance REEV (E-REV)||TBC|
|31||Toyota GB||Toyota Highlander FCHV (HFEV)||No MPG Data|
|37||Zytek Automotive||Zytek Mercedes Vito III Compact MPV (EV)||CAN failed|
|45||Renault UK||Renault Kangoo (EV)||Data-logger Not Fitted|
|46||Hyde Elektromotive||Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL (EV)||Data-logger Not Fitted|
|50||What Car?||Nissan Leaf (EV)||Data-logger dislodged|
|59||Crawley Borough Council||Nissan Leaf (EV)||Data-logger dislodged|
|69||Auto Express||Nissan Leaf (EV)||Data-logger Not Fitted|