As we expand our consumer transport advice at the Energy Saving Trust, helping to make the way people get around less damaging to our environment, it never occurred to me that motorsport might take up the green transport mantle. After all, a normal road car would struggle make 10 miles per gallon if driven in a race around Silverstone by Lewis Hamilton!
But that is exactly what some leading researchers at Kingston University are doing, designing a motorcycle to take part in the first Zero Emission Grand Prix which will be held at the famous Isle of Man TT race that will average 80 miles per gallon.
I was put onto this by Kingston MP Ed Davey, who tells me the hope is that this project will lead to the development of an electric road vehicle that will go even longer between charges.
The Energy Saving Trust is certainly behind any initiative which might help us to curb our ever increasing emissions from transport. People obviously need to get around, but we hope that they will think about how they can do this in the greenest way, perhaps by walking to the shops instead of driving (which is also good for your health) or investing in a more fuel efficient vehicle. I am always heartened when I see increasing numbers of car adverts boasting about their vehicle’s efficiency.
So I am very excited by Kingston University’s innovative project. I am certainly wishing the Kingston University team, whose bike will be ridden by Isle of Man course record holder, Maria Costello, the best of luck when they take part in the race on 12 June. Their local MP tells me he is convinced they will win; it would certainly be a triumph for those of us working for greener transport.
Edward Davey MP tries out the motorbike.