Eco-cars: Do they really make a difference?


"Within 20 years, the majority of new cars manufactured will be electric."

So said Elon Musk, the co-founder of electric car-maker, Tesla Motors, in a recent interview with Time magazine. But will this really be true or is Musk simply cheerleading for his (expensive) electric supercar?

There's no doubt that 'eco-cars' are impingeing more and more on the public consciousness but converting that awareness into sales is still an upward battle even though Musk claims that the problem his company faces is convincing people to part with £65,000 rather than buying a car that doesn't run on petrol or diesel.

Even if that is true - and there's certainly some doubt - the facts are that motorists have yet to be won over to the idea of electric, hydrogen and other alternatively-fuelled cars. Interest is certainly rising, and in some markets such as Europe, sales are growing so when will the British public catch on?

Bridgestone Eco-Rally 2010

Bridgestone Eco-Rally 2010

A number of manufacturers sought to take their message to the roads recently in the fourth Bridgestone Eco-Rally. Run from Brighton to London's Hyde Park, this was the fourth year of the event and attracted a healthy smattering of celebrities, including former and current F1 drivers Eddie Irvine and Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs fame and motoring journalist and former Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson.

The rally showcased the latest in low and zero emission vehicle technology and included a range of eco-vehicles from the Gutsi Zero bus to the Honda CR-Z hybrid and the afore-mentioned Tesla to the Think EV City, which is due to go on sale in the UK later this year.

Autoblog tagged along in Hyde Park to watch the rally quietly whoosh by and to find out what the celebs thought of their new modes of transport. Watch the video to find out more.