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posted on: 12/9/2011 08:20:26

The former organisers of the British International Motor Show have held their first low-carbon motor show at Battersea Power Station.
The Metro newspaper group and exhibition organiser IMIE announced EcoVelocity’s launch in April. The show is a joint venture between both parties and relies on IMIE’s British Motor Show experience and the Metro’s urban London audience and marketing scope.
Event director Giles Brown said EcoVelocity was based on two key pillars: Keeping exhibitor costs down, and giving visitors the opportunity to test drive hybrid and more energy efficient cars in a unique outdoor environment. The show was supported by 19 car manufacturers with each providing three or four vehicles for attendees to test drive around an enclosed track.
In a bid to be family-oriented, the show included an 11-17 year old track for young drivers to have their first attempt at driving using dual-controlled Seat brand cars. The My First Licence feature also allowed 5-12 year olds to try out a Honda 50cc scooter under strict guidance conditions.
To keep costs down and ensure the environmental footprint was up to scratch, exhibitors were house in outdoor units also used at regional county shows. Brown claimed the entire cost for exhibitors was “less than the total staff catering bill” at a traditional motor show.
“We wanted to create an event more in keeping with the needs of the car industry today,” Brown said. “The closure of the British Motor Show in 2008 was because manufacturers couldn’t afford a lavish gig again.
“Our view was that doing another show in an established venue such as Excel or Earls Court wouldn’t go far enough towards being new or totally different. Choosing an iconic venue like Battersea was as important as the event itself. What we are allowing visitors to do is test cars at a show that’s unique.”
EcoVelocity was opened by London Mayor Boris Johnson on 8 September and ran until 11 September.
“It’s also unusual to have EDF Energy as our headline sponsor,” Brown continued. “Usually motor shows have companies like BP as their show sponsors. I think this reflects the changing nature of car shows.”
Brown expected 20,000-30,000 visitors and claimed advanced ticket sales exceeded expectations. The Metro’s expansive London reach to urbanites also ensured a quality audience, he claimed.
“There are a lot of pre-conceptions that exist around driving hybrid or electric cars,” Brown claimed. “Having a show based on trialling these vehicles has gone down really well with our exhibitors, who see test driving as the holy grail.
“Other shows like Autosport or Goodwood Festival of Speed are fantasy shows for dreamers and attract people who can’t afford a Ferrari. This show isn’t about supercars, it’s about ordinary products for people on the street.”

Click here to see the EcoVelocity gallery.
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