Green and sexy car show
The Morgan LIFE car, probably the sexiest green car in existence is a fuel cell-powered electricsports car built by Morgan Motor Company and startup efficient transport company RiverSimple. Research and development is by QinetiQ, Linde, Cranfield University and backed by BERR. This is its first UK outing.
Four stacks of fuel cells convert the hydrogen fuel into electricity to run a super efficient motor generator attached to each wheel. Energy recovered in braking is stored in ultra capacitors rather than batteries, and end to end the performance is estimated to be equivalent to a 150mpg petrol engine. With a top speed of 85mph, 0-60 in less than 7 seconds and a 250 mile range, the mix of technology has been packaged by Morgan to add yet another unique twist to the project. Using only the best and lightest materials, aluminium, wood and leather, the Morgan DNA is clearly visible, adding a new dimension into an environmentally sensitive concept.
And Lotus will be showcasing their most powerful Exige yet:
The Lotus Exige 270E Tri-fuel is the most powerful version of the Lotus Exige ever, and it runs on any mixture of gasoline, bioethanol and methanol. It is the latest research vehicle from Lotus Engineering, the consultancy division of Group Lotus plc.
Emerging technologies will allow alcohol fuels such as methanol, already a proven internal combustion fuel, to be made synthetically from CO2 extracted from the atmosphere. A fuel derived renewably from atmospheric CO2 would be a key piece of the jigsaw allowing society to transfer to sustainable, renewable, carbon-neutral internal combustion.
Lotus Engineering is researching the use of sustainable synthetic alcohols as future fuels for introduction within 15 - 20 years.
The Exige 270E Tri-fuel is part of Lotus' research into the complex combustion and calibration processes for powering vehicles on mixtures of alcohol fuels and gasoline, which will be important for a successful transition from today's fuels. Its flex-fuel technology gives a practical route to the introduction of sustainable synthetic fuels. Using an alcohol sensor in the fuel system and the advanced Lotus engine management system, the Exige 270E Tri-fuel runs on any mixture of gasoline, bioethanol and methanol.
This is all happening at the Eden Project in Cornwall, one of the UK's flagship environmental projects, with some of the world's largest biodomes built into an old claypit.
All the major manufacturers will be flaunting their newest, greenest models including Ford, Peugeot, CitroÃ«n, Fiat, Volkswagen, SEAT, Honda, Axon, Lotus, Saab and Morgan. Vectrix's electric motorcycle will also be on show, and the hydrogen-powered Morgan LIFE car will make its first public appearance (in the UK).
There will also be exhibitors demonstrating how to maintain and even insure your car in a greener way. One stand will feature a driving simulator that they claim can teach you to drive in such a way that your carbon emissions are cut by 15%, there will be a pedal-car race track for the kids, and a Grow Your Own car trail around the rainforest.
We visited last Summer, and can recommend it to anybody. If your not aiming for a specific event, go on a Tuesday (it's quieter) and check opening times - opening times on some days are several hours longer than others.