Steven Glaser, 42, started the Bridgestone Eco-Rally in 2007 to showcase and promote environmentally friendly modes of transport, from cars and vans to motorbikes, mopeds and electric push bikes (e-bikes). This year’s rally will start at Oxford University on July 31 and will finish in The Mall in London. Glaser, a former lobbyist for the World Fuel Cell Council, lives in north London with his wife, Ulli, and his sons, Sam, eight, and Leo, five (eco-rally.org).
“I want to depoliticise climate change because it affects us all. That is why the eco-rally works. We’re bringing together petrol-heads, environmentalists, technology geeks and normal people who just want to see what cars they could be driving.
“We have a lot of cutting-edge cars in the eco-rally. This year there will be several electric cars with a range of battery sizes. Many electric cars commercially available today can run for 100 miles on a single charge. It’s important to show people the cars that they could actually buy now, and not only prototypes featuring groundbreaking concepts.
“I studied physics with astrophysics at Manchester University – Professor Brian Cox was a year ahead of me – but I was always as much into causes as my academic work. I was heavily involved with Amnesty International and I am still fascinated by big issues and the role of science and innovation.
“The London Mayor Boris Johnson asked us at the 2009 eco-rally if we had anything that ran on rhubarb. We did: a Lotus car and a Mercedes van, both powered by biomethane from food waste. He was very excited about it and wanted to drive all the cars himself.