Organizers of the inaugural London electric car rally were disappointed when less than a quarter of the predicted cars turned up. Many that did arrive were late, and then became tangled in a mass of cables.
"we're disappointed we couldn't make it," explained Mr Brown, an electric car owner. "We had carefully measured the route, stripped out all unecessary weight, and given the old girl a full charge for the 30 mile journey. But our plan unravelled when light drizzle and gloomy skies meant we had to turn on our wipers and headlights."
Other owners were stranded by a gentle incline running up to the venue. At one point 12 cars were abandoned at different points on the slope, although most cars with very light drivers managed the obstacle.
Mrs Jones, travelling from Surrey, blamed her daughter for their car conking out just outside the gates. "We'd been very careful: we were wearing thermals to avoid using the heater, I've fitted some torches so we don't need to use the headlights, and I drove here with my head out of the window to avoid using the wipers. We've been on a diet for 2 weeks and we even left my husband behind. But Lucy had plugged in her iPod to recharge, which completely sabotaged our expedition."
Some drivers were quick to criticise poor planning by the organizers. "They've only provided 2 charging sockets!" complained an owner of a Nissan Leaf. "There's 6 cars in front of me, and a full charge takes 8 hours. I can't get home until Tuesday."
The trade stands were also criticized. The rally had insisted that all products and catering had to be delivered by electric vehicle. Unfortunately, this meant the only product on sale was milk, and a couple of yogurts.
At one point, the police had to be called to an incident involving the AA. The AA driver of a recovery truck claims he was slapped by a woman when he informed her that his truck ran on diesel.
It is estimated that the show ground and surrounding area should be cleared of abandoned cars within the next 4 days, just in time for next weekend's Monster Truck rally.