smart car challenge sparks success
smart car

smart car

Hilary Wilson wasn’t even sure she would be allowed to enter her smart car in this year’s Brighton to London RAC Future Car Challenge for low-emission vehicles. The legal adviser’s second generation smart fortwo electric drive coupĂ© is one of a fleet of trial smarts being leased to UK businesses and private owners ahead of next summer’s launch of the local zero emissions model.

“There was a hectic scramble to convince the vehicle insurers that this wasn’t a high risk motor race but an event aimed at using the least amount of energy,” explained Hilary, who works for Swedish construction group Skanska, which prides itself on being the UK’s greenest construction company. “But smart came up trumps to organise all the logistics and even decided to enter its own team of three more cars.”

In fact Hilary, a director of the Royal Automobile Club, became the Club’s official entry for the event, with her smart joining 65 other low-emission vehicles on the 60-mile route from the south coast to London. With rival drivers including 1996 F1TM World Champion Damon Hill OBE, renowned race and sports car designer Gordon Murray and TV presenter and motoring writer Quentin Willson, Hilary faced tough competition.

But not only did her smart fortwo electric drive use just 16.3 kWh of energy to claim the event’s “most energy efficient small production car” title, the whole smart team was just behind, with all three cars finishing in close formation. “I was absolutely delighted with the result, which proved that you really can enjoy a day out in a car which is fun to drive as well as being environmentally friendly – not to mention energy efficient! ” added Hilary.

Claire Tracey, Manager smart Operations, part of the smart UK team on the event, was equally jubilant: “This is a real test for low-emission vehicles and to have all four smart electric drives finish so well and so closely, with over 40 per cent of their battery charge remaining, was incredible. We can’t wait to finally offer our third generation smart fortwo electric drive for sale next year,” said Claire.

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