The 2013 edition of the UK's Future Car Challenge year has been cancelled. The shut down may be as much of a reflection of less-than-expected electric-vehicle interest in the UK as it is a result of a sponsor unexpectedly pulling out, according to UK's Autocar.

The annual race of alt-fuel technology vehicles, which was put on by the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) and ran from Brighton to London, was partially a victim of infighting among race organizers. Still, electric car adoption has been "far slower than expected" and may ultimately be known as an "expensive diversion," according to the publication.

Last fall's winner of the Future Car Challenge was the Renault Zoe all-electric, which won the overall title by using the least amount of energy during the 63-mile race. Other vehicles winning various categories included the Vauxhall Ampera (the sister car of the Chevrolet Volt), the Mercedes-Benz E300 Hybrid and the Jaguar XJ_e.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Dave D
      • 2 Years Ago
      Funny how the article right above this one negates all the BS in this story. Don't get your knickers in a twist over this crap LOL
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's not really a "Future" Car Challenge if the winners are standard production cars you can just go and buy from a dealer. Change format and make it an actual race, see if a Tesla Model S or a Roadster would win, that might be more interesting for the public...
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah EVs are dead, it's a fad, just like the internet.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ugh, the renault zoe looks so much better than the nissan leaf (no "frog's eyes" headlights). If we got that here I'd consider buying one...
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      The UK has approximately 31 million cars on the road. The price of gasoline is $US 9.15 per gallon, with heavy road taxes, insurance, VAT, congestion taxes etc. In contrast, EV incentives are better structured than the US, being in the form of a grant and other incentives rather than a tax credit. Yet the UK has less than 4000 registered EV's. (Many of these are simple quad-cylces) ! The Leaf and Renault's Zoe have great hopes of increased sales, as does BMW and GM's Vauxhall Ampera. The lack of market growth for EV in the UK, is fairly inexplicable. All the major political parties support EV's, popular politicians, like London mayor Boris Johnston campaign for EV's, even the BBC's resident EV curmudgeon Jeremy Clarkson praised the Ampera. Top Gear's Quentin Willson wrote, "Serene, silken, silent, special... the Ampera is easily the best car Vauxhall has ever made. The battery is guaranteed for eight years – longer than any warranty on a petrol or diesel engine – and second-hand values are likely to be gold-plated." He then bought an Ampera as personal transport ! Despite all this effort, there's still no real excitement for EV's. It's hard to fathom why the UK hasn't embraced EV's, even Hybrid technology isn't that popular. Like much of Europe, it seems the UK has embraced the mythology of diesel as a cost effective technology for personal transport. Nearly 50% of all new car sales in the UK are for small diesel powered vehicles. Even stranger, is the popular misconception that burning diesel is somehow 'green' ! I attribute the Vauxhall Ampera's failure to connect with the UK market, to GM's lack of interest in adequately supporting the vehicle. GM's new policy to downgrade the national identities of non-American local subsidiaries, will prove disastrous for GM. Without the loyalty to historically local brands, buyers are free to compare all imports. GM's reputation in Britain is not better than BMW, Mercedes, or even Peugeot . But although in recent years, the Vauxhall marque has lacked glamour, GM could have seized the opportunity to re-focus the brand with a real effort centred around the Ampera's terrific Voltec technology. Instead, Detroit decided to allow Opel to dominate Vauxhall with cheap diesel models, produced in Asia, eastern Europe etc, and badged engineered. As a result, the Ampera remains a bit of a novelty, neglected by it's manufacturer, and is gaining the reputation an expensive loner among a tide of BMW's,Volvo and Mercedes rivals.
      • 2 Years Ago
      "... and may ultimately be known as an "expensive diversion," according to the publication." Yes, an unfathomably expensive diversion. Though as a likely future commentary on the last 80 years of petroleum dominated transportation infrastructure.
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