July 7, 2010 § 1 Comment
Huhne – a man better-known right now for his complicated personal life than for his environmental credentials – said that “the variety of cars taking part would gladden the hearts” of even the most committed petrolheads, and that the rally “puts on display the range of vehicles we can now have.” He added that “21% of our carbon emissions come from personal transport. Moving from gas-guzzling cars to hydrogen and electric vehicles is a key part of what we need to do by 2050 if we are to preserve the world for our children and grandchildren.”
Saul and McCloud are curating a display of vehicles for Prince Charles’ Start Live festival, a grand garden-party event in London this September which is to “encompass everything from buildings and gardens to food,” said Saul, who was approached by the Prince to take responsibility for the automotive exhibits. “It’s a chance for manufacturers to show off their wares, we want lots of alternative technology, and we’re expecting lots of prototypes,” he told me.
The festival is intended to celebrate sustainable lifestyles, and will take place in the gardens of Clarence House, Lancaster House and Marlborough House from 5th-15th September; it’s a ticketed event (£15) but on the 12th, Pall Mall will be shut off for the day for a free-to-view parade and display of the cars.
There will be international exhibitors and major companies have been invited to participate, but “a lot of people from outside the mainstream motor industry” are also expected. Those taking part include Tesla, planning to bring a Roadster fresh from a round-the-world reliability trial, but it’s to be “the best representation of every form of eco-car”, said Saul.
The whole thing will be kicked off by a ‘race’ from Glasgow between the Prince’s private train (to be fuelled by recycled chip fat) and a fleet of clean cars. More details on the still-nascent Start website; some confusion over the date, I fear, though Saul very definitely told me (twice) that the festival will run from the 5th-15th September.
Other celebs and VIP guests at the Eco-Rally included rally legend Paddy Hopkirk (driving the Mini E), Eddie Irvine (waving the starter flag) and former Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson, who’s reinvented himself as quite the green motoring spokesman.