The Prince of Wales this week swapped his Aston Martin for an electric bicycle provided by Spencer Ivy at the launch of an ‘Eco-Rally’.
In environmental terms, an electric bicycle represents a huge improvement over a sports car. However, Prince Charles’s Aston Martin DB5, which was a 21st birthday gift from the Queen and was used by Prince William and Kate Middleton on their wedding day, has been converted to run on wine and cheese – or at least bio-ethanol distilled from locally-produced wine and then improved with alcohol extracted from fermented whey, a bi-product of cheese making.
Winemakers operate under a quota system, so any excess has to be destroyed or sold for a nominal amount for use as biofuel. The wine is distilled to produce ethanol that is almost entirely pure and requires only a small top up of alcohol to ensure it is suitable for most petrol cars – subject to a simple engine tune.
The result is a car that is able to run on a on a mix of 85% ethanol and 15% petrol, thereby dramatically reducing its emissions.
A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “Seeing high-profile figures on bikes can have a powerful and positive effect on the way cycling is perceived by the public – it would be wonderful to add a cycling future king to the cycling prime minister and mayor of London we already have.”
Prince Charles’s other cars run on biofuel made from cooking oil, and the royal train has also been converted to run on biofuel.
Cycle insurance from the ETA includes, amongst other things, new-for-old, third party insurance (in the case of an accident you may need to seek compensation or even deal with a claim by someone else), personal accident cover, race event cover and if you suffer a mechanical breakdown, they will come out and recover you and your bike. Oh, and it covers electric bicycles, too. Get an instant, no obligation quote below.