The very words ‘London to Brighton’ instantly conjure up images of beautiful old cars driving from the capital to the south coast resort every year in the world-famous Veteran Car Run.
But while the event, organised by the Royal Automobile Club, is still a must in the motoring calendar every November, a new rally between the two cities has been created to showcase the innovation in electric motoring and clean energy.
Due to take place on Sunday 18 July, The London to Brighton EV Rally (L2BEVR) will be the first fully electric vehicle rally to take place in England.
The event, which is organised by Brighton-based bus company The Big Lemon and proudly sponsored by EDF, Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, will start on the banks of the River Thames and cover over 58 miles, passing through the beautiful Sussex and Surrey countryside before finishing at Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront.
As the number-one for EV breakdown, the RAC has teamed up with this year’s event as the official breakdown and recovery partner with its expert patrols on hand to rescue any of competitor who runs into difficulty.
Among the 27 entries received so far are a Sinclair C5, Jaguar i-Pace and Renault Twizy, along with solar powered cars and several self-build vehicles, including one built from a former chicken coup.
Electric vehicle drivers, bikers, cyclists and self-build aficionados are invited to sign up to the event.
Starting from just £60 to take part, categories for the rally include: e-bikes, e-motorbikes, city cars, saloon cars, SUVs, vans, self-builds, minibuses, buses, trucks and public transport. All vehicles must be road legal.
RAC EV spokesperson Simon Williams said: “We’re delighted to be the official breakdown partner for the first ever London to Brighton EV Rally, particularly as our expert patrols are already so well known for helping on the Royal Automobile Club’s Veteran Car Run. As the number-one for EV breakdowns we’re ideally placed to assist any competitor who runs into difficulty.
“Our teams will be there to give competitors complete peace of mind in case something unexpected happens, whether that’s getting a puncture or running out of charge.
“Any competitor unfortunate enough to go ‘flat’ will be able to benefit from our market-leading EV Boost technology which we’re fitting to our vans to provide an emergency charge to get drivers home or to the nearest charge point.
“Our vans are also equipped with our unique All Wheels Up recovery system which enables patrols to tow EVs with all four wheels off the ground, and saves time waiting for a separate recovery vehicle. It’s like having a flatbed in the back of our vans.”
L2BEVR co-founder Tom Druitt said: “We are very excited about the first running of the rally and hope it will become an annual event showcasing the rapid development of electric vehicles and renewable energy.
“We’re very pleased to have the support of such high-profile companies such as the RAC which is clearly leading the way in looking after the breakdown needs of electric vehicle owners.”
The event culminates with an award ceremony at the Grand Hotel Brighton with prizes for participants with the lowest energy consumption and general performance across all categories.
There is also an e-village featuring an array of EV displays, entertainment, food and drink.