Shades of Green - which low-carbon cars are the most eco-friendly?
Thursday 5 May 2011
Royal Automobile Club, 89-91 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HS
2pm – Arrivals, tea and coffee
2.30pm – 4.30pm – Main event
4.30pm – 5.30pm – Drinks reception
Admittance is free
In November 2010 a unique test took place. Sixty of the most technologically advanced low-carbon cars – from the majority of the world’s leading manufacturers – were driven from Brighton to London over a globally-renowned course.
The aim was simple: to see how their environmental credentials stacked up where it counts – not in the brochure, but on the road.
The winner on the day was easy enough to identify: the less energy per mile a car used the more eco-friendly it was considered to be. But how do you factor in other criteria that also determine a vehicle’s ‘green’ pedigree?
• How do you best account for CO2 emissions?
• What about the environmental impact of fuel production and distribution?
• What impact do vehicle weight and the number of passengers have?
• Can driving behaviour seriously influence environmental performance?
On the afternoon of Thursday 5 May 2011 some answers to these questions will be offered at a joint RAC Foundation/Royal Automobile Club event where analysis will be unveiled of data from the inaugural Royal Automobile Club Future Car Challenge. It will reveal how different low-carbon technologies – battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, conventional hybrids, cars using the leanest internal combustion engines and fuel cell vehicles – really rate when compared against a range of factors.
The results demonstrate how difficult it is to choose amongst the scores of low-carbon vehicles either already in the showrooms or soon to reach them, all of which can justifiably claim a place in a future where sustainability is crucial. Confronted with so much complex data how should consumers make a reasoned buying decision?
The technical data will be presented by Dr Ricardo Martinez-Botas from Imperial College London and debated by high-ranking representatives from Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan (invited). There will be additional contributions from Richard Headland, editor of Which? Car magazine, Andy Carroll of Glass’s Guide and Michael Hurwitz, director of the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. Also speaking is David Quarmby, chairman of the RAC Foundation, who will give the results of a survey of European motoring clubs – representing more than sixty million drivers – that give a snapshot of thoughts on low-carbon transport policy on the continent.
For more information on the event and to reserve a place, please contact the Foundation by Friday 8 April:
Luca Lytton – Luca.Lytton@RACFoundation.org – 020 7747 3487
For more about the Future Car Challenge and the Royal Automobile Club, please contact:
Peter Foubister – Peter.Foubister@RoyalAutomobileClub.co.uk
The RAC Foundation was established in 1991 as the research arm of RAC Motoring Services.
In 1999 RAC Motoring Services was sold by its owners – the individual members of the Royal Automobile Club – and from the proceeds the Foundation was granted a legacy to guarantee its long-term future.
Today the Foundation is a registered charity. It carries out research relating to roads and campaigns for a fair deal for responsible road users. The Foundation is independent of RAC Motoring Services and the Royal Automobile Club, though representatives of both serve as trustees.
The Royal Automobile Club was founded in 1897 and its early history mirrors that of motoring itself. Between 1900 and 1930 the Club organised the first 1,000-mile trial event, issued the first driving certificate (continuing to do so for 30 years) and established itself as the “Parliament of Motoring”. It staged the first motor race in Britain, the Tourist Trophy event of 1905, and ran the first Grand Prix in 1926; it has been organising annual re-enactments of the first London-to-Brighton Run since 1930. Its Motoring Services arm provided roadside assistance to millions of motorists while the Club continued to be responsible for the governance of the increasing activities of motor sports enthusiasts. The demerger of the RAC Motoring Services from the Royal Automobile Club in 1999 gave it independence; but the Club retains influence in all the activities in which it had had such a significant voice.