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Kevin McCloud and Dame Ellen MacArthur revved up for the Eco-Car Challenge

13th September 2010

The Prince of Wales’ ‘Garden Party to Make a Difference’ saw the arrival of some incredible eco-cars on The Mall yesterday as part of the largest display ever seen in the city.  The display included everything from racing supercars to town runabouts and scooters including the silent Tesla roadster, the Citroen Survolt racing car, the Lightning GT, the electric Think City, as well as Smart, Mini E cars and the Shell Eco marathon car.  The eco-cars are supported by the Prince of Wales’ environmental charity Start and complemented the garden party which has focused on sustainability in all areas from food to clothing, debate and design. 

TV Presenters Robert Llewellyn and Lisa Rogers were on hand as well as after dinner speaker Quentin Wilson and awards host Lucy Siegle – who also writes a weekly column on ethical living for the ObserverJodie Kidd and environmental campaigner Dame Ellen MacArthur were also in attendance and racing legend Sir Stirling Moss was enjoying his time behind the wheel.  Kevin McCloud arrived on The Mall at the finishing line of his race with Roger Saul.  Kevin and Roger drove their low-emission electric Tesla supercars in a race against the Prince of Wales who was travelling in his royal train – fuelled by chip fat – from Birmingham to London on the last leg of his tour to join the garden party.  Roger Saul, the creator of fashion brand Mulberry and organic food range Sharpham Park, said “We want to inspire people to explore alternative transport that is more environmentally friendly.  We can’t keep using up the world’s resources and pumping pollution into the atmosphere.  Electric cars are getting far more affordable and we will be explaining that. The government gives people [up to] £5,000 to buy an electric car [from January 2011]."  10% of our carbon dioxide is produced by the cars we drive in Britain, a figure which is set to rise, and there is no congestion charge to pay if you have an electric car. 

Kevin McCloud was displaying his impressive driving skills in the Tesla – a hidden talent which shocked Jeremy Clarkson when Kevin made a lightning lap in the Reasonably Priced Car on Top Gear to come within 0.04 seconds of leader Jay Kay.  Kevin’s message on the environment is an important one at a time when sustainability is becoming an increasingly important part of our lives, “Sustainability is crucial to our future, but we must get the message over that it's fun. It can't be preached. The Tesla shows that environmentally friendly cars can be beautiful, sexy, fast, sporty and fun.” 

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