It demonstrates the potential of wind energy to drive cars of the future when there's no oil left to burn – and it’s parked here at the Green Britain Centre.
Drive like the wind
On March 26 2009, on the dry Lake Ivanpah, The Ecotricity Greenbird – driven by British engineer Richard Jenkins – smashed the world land speed record for wind powered vehicles.
The Greenbird clocked 126.1 mph (202.9 km/h), eclipsing the American record of 116 mph set by Bob Schumacher in the Iron Duck 10 years earlier at the same location.
Greenbird uses a combination of technology usually found on aircraft and Formula 1 cars to achieve staggering speeds – with no engine.
The name is a nod to Donald Campbell's all-conquering Bluebird.
Campbell made his record attempts in what historians will look back on as the golden age of fossil fuels when they were abundant, cheap and powerful – and nobody dreamt they might run out one day.
He achieved incredible speeds in that golden age. Using energy stores laid down by nature over millions of years. Fast-forward 80 years and we're coming to the end of the fossil fuel age. Now we're at the dawn of the age of renewables – nothing less than a second industrial revolution.
Cars of the future won't run on fossil fuels: they'll run on renewable sources of energy like the wind. With today's technology we can achieve incredible speeds, using only wind power. Campbell had massive cubic capacity engines and energy dense fossil fuels – we have just the wind – the wind that will still be with us in 100 years and more.
Visit the Greenbird website.