Electric Vehicle Rally 2021
The first ever London to Brighton Electric Vehicle Rally ran its inaugural event on Saturday, 18 September, with 71 vehicles in nine different categories crossing the finish line next to the Palace Pier, having driven 59 miles from Parliament Square to Brighton.
The Deputy Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Mary Mears, welcomed participants as they finished the rally, and BBC Sussex Breakfast show presenter, Allison Ferns, did a live commentary on the vehicles as they crossed the line.
Over 3000 people visited the event on Brighton seafront, where vehicles were displayed following the finish, and other attractions also featured an electric go-kart track and the solar car built by Ardingly College and Ifield Community College that completed the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia in 2015 and 2019.
The inaugural event was the brainchild of co-founders Tom Druitt and Bill Murray, and was put together by The Big Lemon to celebrate the rapid development of electric vehicles and renewable energy technology, and to mark the transition of The Big Lemon’s fleet to electric.
Sponsored by EDF, Britain’s biggest generator of zero-carbon electricity, the event also included key partners Fully Charged, Endeavour Motors (Polestar), the RAC, Drive Electric, R Symons, InterCounty Mercedes Benz, Zero Motorcycles, Moto-Ebikes, Electric Brighton and Novo Insurance. Charity partners included food redistribution charity Fareshare Sussex and the Martlets Hospice.
;Bill and I are so pleased with how the first event has gone and would like to thank our families, our team Jude, Jo and Olivia, the team at The Big Lemon, our sponsors EDF, all our commercial partners, and most importantly all those who participated in the event.’
“At the start we always agreed that the most important thing would be for everyone to have a good time, and judging by the smiles on everyone’s faces, we are very happy to say this first event was a great success.
Electric Vehicle Rally 2022
Following the phenomenal feedback of the inaugural event in September 2021, the second London to Brighton Electric Vehicle Rally took place on Saturday 25 June, and was a resounding success. Organised in partnership with electric bus company The Big Lemon and sponsored by EDF, Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, the second annual event left Parliament Square shortly after 8am to cover the 59 miles to Brighton Beach. All participants stopped at Ifield College, Crawley for a breakfast and team photo before continuing to Brighton’s Palace Pier and the finish line on Madeira Drive.
70 different electric vehicles lined the seafront yesterday as the rally entries arrived on Madeira Drive. The event saw solar- powered cars, self-builds, e-bikes and even an electric planefollowing the route to the city. It is the second time the rally has been held, after last year’s event was called an “unprecedented success”.
Tom Druitt , one of the event organisers stated “The rally was a fantastic day and a huge success. Participants and spectators all had a great time and we enjoyed wonderful support from our sponsors EDF, JLC Group, the RAC, University of Brighton, Hendy Group, the Fully Charged Show and 3ti. We had a fabulous launch event in London on the banks of the Thames, and a brilliant welcome by Ifield Community College in Crawley where we had a pit-stop at half time. Madeira Drive hosted everything from solar car parking, solar cars, EDF’s renewable technologies and even a flyby from a Nebo Pipistrel electric plane – the only one in existence in the UK.”
We would like to thank all the event’s partners and sponsors for their patience, commitment, and diligence. Without their help this year’s event would not be possible
Our partners include: The Big Lemon CIC, EDF, JLC Group, RAC, Fully Charged, University of Brighton, Current PR, Hendy, 3ti and Drive Electric
The Event and Its Origins
Back in 2020 two Brighton friends, Bill and Tom, were chatting about The Big Lemon’s transition to an electric bus fleet. Tom mentioned that he’d like to do some kind of challenge to see how well the electric buses perform and Bill suggested inviting other vehicles to join the challenge. One thing led to another and the London to Brighton Electric Vehicle Rally was born.
The main purpose of the rally is to demonstrate and celebrate the development of electric vehicles and renewable energy, and of course to have a lot of fun at the same time. Fast forward two years and the rally has been a great success, bringing together a partnership of innovative organisations in a wide variety of disciplines across the transport and energy industries; led by The Big Lemon, the UK’s leading electric bus operator, and EDF, the UK’s biggest supplier of zero carbon electricity.
For 2023, the rally will be going international… London to Brighton, and then on to Paris! With a reception in London on 30 June, the rally will call in at the famous midway point at Ifield College, home of the Ardingly-Ifield Solar Car, before heading down to Brighton seafront for an afternoon showcasing the very best of EV and renewable energy technology, in partnership with our friends at the University of Brighton. After our traditional evening reception, we will continue our adventure on the ferry overnight, setting off from Dieppe at sunrise and travelling through Northern France, arriving in Paris in the late afternoon.
With eleven categories from bikes to buses and even aeroplanes and self-built vehicles, the rally promises to be the premier electric vehicle challenge in Europe in 2023. We are incredibly excited about it, and would love you to join us for the ride!