An electric atmosphere…
Robin Roberts reports.
Last weekend thousands of shoppers, holidaymakers and sports enthusiasts saw some of the world’s most advanced cars in Swansea, for Britain’s first exclusively low carbon rally.
Fuel cell models lined up with a wide range of battery electric vehicles from nearly every manufacturer selling in Britain, to compete in the Green Dragon EV Rally and Show.
Streets around Castle Square were filled with examples of the latest electric cars (including competition models). There were demonstrations of electric trials bikes and high performance electric racing bikes which have lapped the Isle of Man TT Course, along with an Aston Martin Rapide e and the e Rally Zoe, the UK’s first homologated rally car.
Before the event there was a special Future is Electric Forum at the Dylan Thomas Centre, with expert speakers on electric and hydrogen vehicles. On Saturday the event’s action began in Swansea City Centre before touring around Gower Peninsula and with autotests at Swansea Airport, Fairwood, before finishing in Castle Square, Swansea in front of hundreds of shoppers.
The autotests decided the winner of the inaugural Grove Trophy, commissioned to mark the contribution of the Swansea academic Sir William Robert Grove, who created the fuel cell in Swansea in the 1840s. That went to University of Wales Trinity Saint David transport lecturer Mark Sandford, driving a BMW i3 from BMW Sytner, Swansea.
Accepting the trophy, Mark Sandford said, “I think I had the ideal car for the tests with its very tight turning circle and there was still a lot of range left in the car after nearly 60 miles and some performance driving at the autotests.”
The event was promoted by the Low Carbon MC and organised by Maesteg MC with support from Swansea Business Improvement District, Swansea City and County Council, Swansea Airport and the Welsh Automotive Forum.