New Green Jack New Green Jack

38 responses to “I’m no Jeremy Clarkson (let’s get that straight…)”

    • Rhymin Simon


      to be honest I am in two minds about this – in the first place I’m happy with the idea of electric cars, and well done for only doing 3000 miles last year too – I didnt manage that.

      But the thing that concerns me about this kind of product is that it becomes subject to the whim of fashion, its a consumable item, and doesn’t encourage a less materialistic, less consumption based lifestyle – and that’s what got us into this mess in the first place.

      To my mind it seems more appropriate to look at increasing sustainability and availability of mass public transport, creating this kind of electric vehicle is only ever going to serve a small minority of the population, and thus will make less of a positive impact.

      I am not really having a go at you though, its only by challenging the big companies that changes will be made, and for that reason (if that alone) I hope this succeeds.

      Cheers, Simon

    • midnight skuller

      Tesla Roadster
      0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds.
      200 miles per charge.
      Makes a corvette look ugly.

    • Me

      Are electric cars really the solution? Probably only part of a solution that has to involve less car use overall. There are problems with our car based society that changing the fuel won’t fix. We should be moving away from car centric thinking to a situation where a significant number of people at least don’t need to own a car (PAYG car share for occasions where a car is needed).

      Still electric delivery and car share vehicles provide a useful “network battery” for Wind power.

    • Simon

      I did send an email through with this suggestion but in case you didn’t get it…

      Talk to Project Better Place

      They already have a commitment from Renault-Nissan to mass produce electric cars for Israel and Denmark. I’ve no doubt we will see them come to the UK as well.

      In particular they seem keen to use renewable energy to power the electric cars. In Denmark they are using spare capacity from the wind.

      It would be great to see Ecotricity supply the energy for Project Better Place in the UK

    • Wobbly Dave

      At posters 1 and 3: Doing what’s right for the environment shouldn’t involve removing every aspect of fun from our lives. Zero carbon and zero to sixty in under four seconds sounds fantastic and if i could afford one of these i’d go on a waiting list tomorrow. Besides, whilst i try and cycle as much as possible, living in the country is pretty tricky to cope without a car and that’s not going to change any time soon.

    • Mark Loveridge

      I agree. We have to be realistic. There will not be a revolution where we can all work within a few miles of home and catch a bus, cycle or walk. The UK is geared up for its economy, and thanks to modern marketing we always want the latest, best gadget etc.
      Electric vehicles are the way forwards, you can still get the same thrill from riding/driving. There are a lot more coming onto the market, and as we all know when demand increases so does supply and costs reduce.
      The other advantage is you can charge directly from wind or solar and fuel is then free. Something else to note is even if you take your power from the mains you only pay 5% VAT…..the Government sting you for about 188% VAT on your ‘traditional’ fuel. This will never change, and they can’t increase VAT on electric as so many older people area reliant on cheap energy to heat their homes.
      Very interested to see the Lotus in the flesh….will give you a race on my Vectrix! 😉

    • Chris

      This is great news. I have no problem with liking fast things, I also like fast cars. Fortunately I’m not in the financial position to afford one, so I can pretend I’m not a hypocrite for now!!!

      I also think that in the modern world we need some form of independent transport (as well as better public transport!). I’m unmarried with no kids, living on the edge of a big city. Yet even I find I need a car. So I can only imagine how much harder it would be for a mother of three, or a freelance business consultant, or a country bumpkin to survive without a car. Having said all that, without wishing to rain on this fantastic movement (and it is truely fantastic), .. I’m a bit concerned these electric cars are becoming a product for the ‘elite’. I like the fact that this car shows up all those pathetic big car manufacturers who say ‘it’s impossible’! The impressive specs will obviously be sweep that myth under the carpet. But it sounds almost like a tesla or the lightning. Does that mean it will have a tesla or a lightning price?

      Like I say, I’m seriously impressed, and love that Ecotricity are investing in something I believe in,… but if you can achieve such overwhelming highs, then surely you must also have the passion, drive and technology to achieve a standard 4 door, reliable, affordable hatchback??! Whens that coming?! With petrol prices today, you KNOW it will sell!!

      Congrats though Dale. That’s great news. 🙂

    • paul

      Personally (as an Ecotricity staffer)- I am hoping that the Lotus is so cost-effective and efficient that Ecotricity get a fleet of them for staff use 😉

      In all seriousness – I would be happy driving a ‘noddy’ car around though – I love driving fast cars like most people, but for getting to work, doing the shopping and school runs etc an electric/compressed air/hybrid vehicle is fine, I think I can live with being called ‘Big Ears’… until I can afford one of these beauties of course!

      @Mark – I would also use a Vectrix to get to work if I had the spare pennies (and if the sun was out!)

    • oly

      Electric vehicles are the way to go, for both the environment, performance & energy efficiency. I’ve got ideas for the production and distribution of efficient performance cars and other transport. Please email me to discuss.

    • Neil

      I think it is essential that we reduce our car use, and reduce our dependency on cars. It’s not just the carbon. It also promotes a lifestyle where it is normal to drive off to out of town supermarkets for a weekly shop, which destroys town centres, disadvantages the reducing numbers of people who don’t have a car or can’t drive. etc etc

      I am not saying electric cars are bad, but simply replacing current cars with electric is not the solution.

    • Jeff

      Hello there. I work in automotive safety: I simulate crash tests. And I am aware the G-Wiz got a bit of bad publicity when a magazine (I think it was a magazine) decided to perform a crash test on it. The makers of G-Wiz had avoided having to meet legal crashworthiness requirements because it was not classified as a car.
      There is a wider issue here. To improve the range and performance of a car, you need to either get a better powertrain (more power and/or better batteries) or get the weight down, or some combination of both. If you get the weight down, then at what expense? It could be taking luxuries out, such as power windows, air-conditioning, stereo etc., or degrading durability or safety. I’m not sure everyone would feel comfortable driving a car knowing that safety was compromised. That said, if someone wanted safety, they would not be looking at a sports car. In sports cars luxuries are often left out anyway, so I imagine you can get away with not putting in power windows, a/c and all that.
      I’m interested to know more about this car like how much it will weigh, how many and what kind of batteries it will have etc.
      Anyway I’m looking forward to seeing the car, and seeing if it really does give the performance and range you promise, and what (if anything) is compromised in order to get it.
      Good on you Dale though. It’s not often that I see an electricity company try to develop and build a car!

    • Chris

      Jeff, a link you may find interesting..

    • Martin Buckley

      Hello Dale I’m a motoring writer and I’d like to know more about the sportscar you are designing with a view to doing a story in EVO magazine.

    • Simon300

      Yes, Tesla may have spent a lot of money so far but they are aiming to develop vehicles for commercial production, so you can’t compare that to a one-off built for Ecotricity.

      Actually Lotus are providing technology to Tesla (there was an “In-Business” programme on the radio about it last year). Lotus has a very strong heritage in building high performance and light weight cars that handle very well – in fact that use to be the mantra of Colin Chapman (their founder).

      Lotus were displaying a battery-powered Elise at an event at the National Motor Museum around 2 years ago. I think it’s a very good area for them to be putting R&D spend into, providing they have the cashflow to survive a long haul.

      I do agree with other people here that fundamentally mass transportation will have to change radically – we won’t simply be able to replace petrol/diesel with electric.

    • Jon

      What do you think about MDIs pneumatic car development? Tata has now licensed this technology for India. It seems to me it has a massive weight advantage over electric cars with battery storage – also no nasty chemicals involved.

    • Mark Kiernan

      The best of luck with this project. I am sure it can be done. I hope that when you have made a sack of cash on this you will produce a family model for people like me 🙂

    • The Daily Sprout « Earth2Tech

      […] now he wants a fast, wind-powered electric car that will rival Tesla’s Roadster. Game on – ZeroCarbonista via […]

    • Glenn

      Great idea Dale! I believe that sustainable doesn’t have to be poor, small, mediocre, slown and uncomfortable.

      Any plans for an electric bike? Please can you include that sweet bike sound so that people talking on the phone whilst driving their electric cars can hear us coming.

    • Paul

      I hate to be the spoiler here but I fell into this site by link. I see most of the posts are from the UK and although there is a healthy market for toy there, in the states there is no option to drop cars at all. I live in Wisconsin, my family is in Oklahoma thats a trip of 1500 miles both ways. Un-like people in Europe I don’t have 4 or 5 weeks of vacation. I get 3 and I’m lucky to have that. I guess my point is that this country is VAST and there is no pub, grocery, mall or anything with in walking distance. I NEED a car and so does my wife, be it an ev or gas there is no option.

    • Damon Hart-Davis


      Although it’s clearly nice to visit family, it’s not a *need* like food or water or heat. You wouldn’t die if you had to use the Internet for phone for a year instead. (Some families would improve with distance too. B^>)

      We’ve all gotten too used to regarding ‘nice’ things as ‘essential’.



    • Xena

      The thing I’m curious about is the financial side of having an electric car…
      How much would it cost to charge one? As even if it did 150 miles on one charge, someone like me would still need to charge it once a week.
      And how much would it cost to buy an electric car?

      One other thing I’m intrigued by is if you wanted to drive further than 150 miles in one go (on holiday for example), how would that be possible? There are no (or very few) charging points around, and I imagine it’s not like a mobile phone where you can just plug an ac adapter into a wall socket…

      If my questions seem a bit simple, please excuse me… I’m kinda new to all this…

    • oly

      So what’s the problem with noddy and clarkson? And where’s the car?
      Hope it’s not just an ego boosting publicity gimik! (I’ll tell ya about gimiks!)

    • Xena

      Hi Dale, and thanks for your response.

      I hope things will change. I would gladly swap my car for an EV if they become more mass-produced (and therefore cheaper) and I guess that if the figures you’re quoting are fairly near to the mark it sounds like they would be slightly cheaper to run as well.

      I resent paying for petrol… the petrol prices and the taxes that our delightful government stick on top of the fuel are completely ridiculous… it’s like we’re being made to pay through the nose to destroy our own planet. I can’t see the sense in that.

      I get public transport anywhere I can to help the environment, but I am not perfect and I have to have a car for certain journeys.

      The main issues for me with transport in general are firstly the welfare of this earth and its future, or course, and secondly in this current climate I, along with everyone else, am increasingly concerned about the cost of transport and the cost of living in general.

      I hope you’re right in saying that things will change… and that they change for the better.

    • Paul Harwood

      I think along the same lines. Rather than trying to change the world, like some orwellian dream – like they did in the sixties when they build that social utopia the ‘council estate’. I think we should improve it.

      You can’t stop people wanting to drive fast cars, to take risks, to feel excited about beautiful objects. Unfortunately, currently, those feelings are umbilically linked to pollution and bad effects for us all.

      I think this is the way forward, its much more likely that the ‘green’ brand will be taken up by the popular culture if we have flagships like very fast (inexpensive to run) cars.

      It is not a luxury to create these items, but a necessity to replace them.

    • Jonny Holt

      Last year I had a meeting with – well let’s just say “a man who knows about these things”.

      He quoted to me possibly one of the most alarming statistics showing just how far we have got to go to rein in our unsustainable lifestyles.

      It goes like this:-

      If the total UK road vehicle fleet were powered by electricity instead of fossil fuel, we would need the equivalent of 46 additional nuclear power stations (over and above those that are already being proposed).

      It is not going to happen, for so many reasons. So I suppose unless we can build several thousand multi-MW turbines most of us will have to bicycle around the M25 instead. Sadly, electric cars are likely to be rich men’s toys.

    • Mark Loveridge

      Jonny, i can see your point. But we also need to consider the ‘Bigger Picture’!
      Battery technology is improving at a rapid rate, with capacitors now being mated with batteries to provide a more rounded solution. These developments mean the batteries, in time will need less energy to charge, and propel vehicles for longer on a charge. There are also workings to make regenerative braking more effective, reducing the amount of times you need to charge.
      Also, as solar costs come down, you can charge at your own ‘home station’.
      None of this will happen without the investment, and consumers need to buy into this now to help aid its process. There are huge cost savings for those that do.
      If we reduce the amount of vehicles on the road, reduce the amount of miles we do in them we will be half way to resolving the issue. But electric isn’t the sole fuel of the future. There is also Hydrogen, although currently the energy intensity to create hydrogen is high- with further development this could change.
      In a nutshell- don’t be put off by these huge figures. Electric power is happening, it’s happening now and is leading technological advances for the future!
      If you want to go electric now, see

    • oly

      2009 will be the first year of “kinetic energy recovery systems” in formula 1 (for anyone who gives a hoot). This is where car manufacturers put some brainpower into what they should have been doing all along! Thanks max mosley!
      Car manufacturers sell oil!
      Why else would there be 19th c. technology under each bonnet?
      There’ll soon be more small companies offering practical, fully electric cars.
      We need to support these small suppliers in the same way we need to support smaller suppliers of food to try and stop supermarkets pimping out the planet to the big bidders.

    • oly

      eh, dale, if you want to make a difference, don’t put up your electricity prices. When word got round, everyone would be buying your wind power.

    • Oly

      thanks for reply.
      Is it possible to seperate from the market but still use the grid to distribute the electricity?
      I think localized clean generation would mean more security and stability.
      Ever thought about branching out into that area?
      Seems like at the moment you’re at the mercy of the government and the grid.
      Also, like I said about car companies selling oil, I think it would be in your interest to sell electric cars.
      I’m just worried about people like you chaps getting squeezed out!