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UK’s first ev rally in Wales thrills thousands

Thousands of shoppers, holidaymakers and sports enthusiasts saw some of the world’s most advanced cars in Swansea at the weekend for Britain’s first exclusively low carbon rally.

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Fuel cell models lined up with a wide range of battery electric vehicles from nearly every manufacturer selling in Britain to compete in the Green Dragon EV Rally and Show.
Streets around Castle Square were filled with examples of the latest ev cars and competition cars together with demonstrations of electric trials bikes and high performance electric racing bikes which have lapped the Isle of Man TT Course,  along with a futuristic Aston Martin Rapide  e and the e Rally Zoe, the UK’s first homologated rally car. 


There was a special Future is Electric  Forum at the Dylan Thomas Centre before the event  with expert speakers on electric and hydrogen vehicles and on Saturday the event’s action began in Swansea City Centre before touring around Gower Peninsula and autotests at Swansea Airport, Fairwood, before finishing in Castle Square, Swansea in front of hundreds of shoppers.
The event for electric and hydrogen powered vehicles gathered at The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, before setting off from Castle Gardens in the City Centre on it’s 60 mile tour of the picturesque Gower Peninsular ending with an auto test at Swansea Airport before heading for the finish line back at Castle Gardens.
The Toyota Mirai hydrogen cell vehicle undertakes the auto test at Swansea Airport.
The autotests decided the winner of the inaugural Grove Trophy, commissioned to mark the contribution of the Swansea academic Sir William Robert Grove, who created the fuel cell in Swansea in the 1840s and just seconds separated the top three cars.
Victory went to University of  Wales Trinity Saint David transport senior lecturer Mark Sandford driving a BMW i3 from BMW Sytner, Swansea,. PIC:ROGER DONOVAN MEDIAPHOTOS.CO.UK
Victory went to University of  Wales Trinity Saint David transport senior lecturer Mark Sandford driving a BMW i3 from BMW Sytner, Swansea, and the specially commissioned and designed glass trophy illustrating a fuel cell was presented by the head of automotive design Prof Ian Walsh.
Accepting the trophy, Mark Sandford said, “I think I had the ideal car for the tests with its very tight turning circle and there was still a lot of range left in the car after nearly 60 miles and some performance driving at the autotests.”

The event was promoted by the Low Carbon MC and organised by Maesteg MC with support from Swansea Business Improvement District, Swansea City and County Council, Swansea Airport and the Welsh Automotive Forum.