Future Car Challenge preview01 Nov 2012

Silent running with new Plug-in Prius

Roads minister accepts green challenge

The roads minister will be part of the RAC Foundation team aiming to win its class in the RAC Future Car Challenge on Saturday 3rd November.

Stephen Hammond MP is expected to be one of those driving the Foundation’s Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, a vehicle that has only been on sale in the UK since September this year.

According to Toyota the Prius Plug-in Hybrid generates a mere 49 gCO2/km and can deliver 134 mpg. It has a claimed battery-only range of 14 miles.

The Prius Plug-In Hybrid is one of ten vehicles that are currently eligible for the Government’s Plug-in Car Grant. Under this scheme buyers of low-carbon vehicles generating less than 75 gCO2/km can get up to £5,000 off the purchase price.

As of 30 September 2012, 2,311 claims had been made through the Plug-in Car Grant scheme, which started in January 2011.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“The RAC Foundation believes plug-in hybrids are a critical stepping stone towards green battery and hydrogen fuel cell powered cars.

“There are 28 million cars in the UK yet only 2,500 or so are fully battery-powered. Big question marks about electric cars remain in the minds of potential purchasers including cost, range, reliability and re-sale value. Hybrid technology is more proven and as this latest Prius demonstrates can still deliver very low rates of carbon emissions.

“With the help of Stephen Hammond we will be seeing if the Prius lives up to its promise. We are confident it will.”

Stephen Hammond MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, said:

“The coalition government is committed to helping make road transport more environmentally friendly and in part we are doing this through the Plug-in Car and Van Grant schemes. A major job is to make drivers aware of what technology is out there. The RAC Future Car Challenge is an excellent demonstration of just how far the motor industry has already progressed down the low-carbon road.”

The RAC Future Car Challenge will see more than 30 low and ultra-low carbon vehicles making the journey from Brighton to London with the aim of using as little energy as possible. After the technical finish at Imperial College in Kensington where energy consumption will be measured, the cars will parade to central London to take part in the Regent Street Motorshow.



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications:

[email protected] | 020 7747 3445 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN) | 07711 776448

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation which explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users. The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist.

More information about the Toyotal Prius Plug-in Hybrid can be found at:


More information about the RAC Future Car Challenge can be found at:


More information about the Plug-in Car Grant can be found at: