Just over a week ago 100 electric cars passed through Brighton on their way to the French capital for a modern twist on a century-old motoring tradition.

Many of us will be familiar with the numerous London to Brighton car runs, however organisers of the London to Paris electric vehicle rally took the tradition one step further as they set off on the near-300 mile journey to Paris, crossing the finish line in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

The Argus was invited to join the historic rally, organised by Current PR founders Bill Murray and Harrison Hughes with Big Lemon boss Tom Druitt, as the eco friendly event made its way from the capital to the coast and across the Channel.

The Argus: Tom Druitt in his all-electric Big Lemon support carTom Druitt in his all-electric Big Lemon support car (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

The two-day trip kicked off with a quick briefing from the team over tea, coffee and biscuits at the Westminster City School, just a stone's throw from the Palace of Westminster, ahead of the departure shortly after 8am.

The starting line was filled with a diverse range of alternative cars, from Teslas to Volkswagen Campers, and Land Rovers to electric converted Austin 10s.

The Argus: The new Volkswagen ID Buzz leaving Westminster City SchoolThe new Volkswagen ID Buzz leaving Westminster City School (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Argus editor Arron Hendy was driving us in the brand-new Atto 3 from Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD, which, according to the unmissable huge chrome badge on the back of the car, stands for Build Your Dreams.

It was the first time we had been behind the wheel of an electric car and the first leg was spent finding out about all of the bells and whistles the car had to offer.

A personal favourite being the door pockets, tuned so that they sound like the song Smoke On The Water.

It also turns out you can speak to the car and it will open your window, or even turn on your heated seats.

The Argus: Driving into Madeira DriveDriving into Madeira Drive (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

And after a quick run down the M23, we arrived back home to Brighton where we crossed the finish line in Madeira Drive. The road was transformed into a huge event village, showcasing the best of electric power.

Stands from big-names such as EDF were placed right next to demonstrations from all-electric unicycles.

The Argus: The rider was performing daring stuntsThe rider was performing daring stunts (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Entrants were treated to a glitzy event at the Soho Beach House, looking right over the seafront and Palace Pier, to the soundtrack of an Abba tribute act.

As the sun set over the city, organisers Tom, Harrison and Bill shared their thanks for the success of the event so far.

The Argus: An artist was also creating a spray-paint picture of the Atto 3An artist was also creating a spray-paint picture of the Atto 3 (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

BBC Sussex personality Allison Ferns presented awards for the most efficient vehicles in each category - a nerdy indulgence as the miles per kilowatt hour figures were read out for each driver.

The Argus: Soho Beach HouseSoho Beach House (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

There was an air of anticipation in the venue as the hour drew closer for our departure from Newhaven.

We queued up outside the Big Lemon bus to receive our blanket and pillows for the 5-hour trip across the Channel before heading back to our cars and leaving Madeira Drive in convoy, towards the Newhaven Ferry Port for the DFDS night ferry to Dieppe.

The Argus: Rally cars lined up at the port in NewhavenRally cars lined up at the port in Newhaven (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

The journey onwards was completely new to the rally, and organiser Harrison - who is just 19 years old.

He said: "A year’s worth of work for a weekend is a lot. Everyone on the WhatsApp group for the rally has been talking about it for ages, and for us to all meet and enjoy it together was really special.

"And it wasn't just the drivers. To have all these electric cars on the seafront for everyone to see definitely opened their eyes.

"Lots of people who wouldn't normally consider going to an event like this learnt a lot even when they were just out for an afternoon walk.

"And that's what this is all about. Showing non-ev drivers that this is the future and long journeys can be done."

The Argus: Waiting to board the Côte D'Albâtre ferryWaiting to board the Côte D'Albâtre ferry (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Entrants filtered past border control as the evening air filled with the sound of passports being stamped.

We took the opportunity to chat with some of the other participants about their cars and what motivated them to take part.

This included Brighton resident and electric vehicle enthusiast Lewis Nymans, who runs his own eco-friendly motorhome business Wild Drives.

He said: "It is a great introduction to people who are really passionate about these technologies, making travel more sustainable for everyone.

"There are people new to it, businesses, early adopters - it gives you a lot of inspiration and energy when you see how much innovation is going on."

The 36-year-old completed the whole route from London to Paris on a single charge - and still had 20 per cent to spare.

The Argus: Lewis placing a sticker on his vanLewis placing a sticker on his van (Image: Lewis Nyman)

And it was not long before we were ushered into the bowels of one of DFDS's two ferries which run on the Newhaven to Dieppe route, the Côte D'Albâtre.

We picked up our bags and toiletries for the short night as we set sail on the Channel, knowing yet another day of adventure was ahead of us.

Not without stopping off at the on-board bar, though.

The Argus: Driving into the ferryDriving into the ferry (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

We stood on the outside decks as we waved goodbye to Sussex, heading off in the direction of France.

We settled down on a row of reclining seats inside the boat, and tried drifting off to sleep as our boat drifted off into the sea.

The Argus: The view from the deckThe view from the deck (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

We woke up the next morning keen to kick off the next leg of our adventure.

We returned to our car and drove off towards the French frontier.

The Argus: A warm welcome to DieppeA warm welcome to Dieppe (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

And if we were not awake before then, the French border police certainly woke us up...

The officers did not hesitate with their abundant use of torches and whistles and close scrutiny of our brand-new blue passports.

We travelled into the country during the height of the riots sparked by the death of a 17-year-old teenager in the Nanterre district of Paris.

But throughout time in France, we did not once find ourselves passing by the shells of burnt-out cars or enraged rioters.

Our next stop was the central green in Dieppe, and we were treated like royalty by the French police - who blocked off roads and escorted us to our destination, bringing the town to a halt as we slowly paraded through the streets.

The Argus: A police car escorting the rally out of the portA police car escorting the rally out of the port (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

It took us around 15 minutes to arrive at the green, where we were all handed a token for a croissant and coffee at the Hotel de l'Europe.

The Argus spoke to organiser Bill Murray about the monumental moment the rally crossed the border.

He said: "I didn't expect all this. I didn't expect the police escort and the camera crews to be waiting for our arrival.

"It is a really simple idea that anyone could do, the team have been fantastic in getting everything together.

"We've got so many people committed to this and it just shows that bonkers British spirit. This is fun and a real sense of adventure."

The Argus: Bill Murray next to the pace carBill Murray next to the pace car (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

We all gathered around a gazebo where Normandy representative Valerie Jimonet delivered a poignant and inspiring speech to us competitors.

He said: "Your arrival marks the beginning of a new era in the automotive industry.

"One where electric vehicles rightfully claim their place in the world, even for long journeys. 

"You are the pioneers. Here you are. The English pioneers pushing the boundaries and paving the way to a cleaner and more environmentally friendly future.

"Your presence here today shows that long distance electric vehicle travel is not only possible but pleasurable.

"This journey from London to Paris is more than just a trip. It is a statement to all those who are duped on the capability of electric cars.

"Dieppe is proud to be the first city in france on your epic journey and to share this historic moment with you."

The Argus: The view from our car windowThe view from our car window (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Some of the drivers taking part in the rally take the whole eco-friendly aspect very seriously, calculating the best route for energy efficiency.

It truly is a cross-section of enthusiasts, from those keen on the technology to those keen on doing their bit to help the environment.

One driver used only solar power from their home to charge their car - meaning the whole trip to Paris cost them £0.

Argus editor Arron Hendy said: "Valerie's poignant words really helped bring home the value of the trip. It was truly enormous fun joining in and it showed how far you can go with electric now. Bill, Harrison and Tom have done Brighton proud by making it the centre of an event that knows no boundaries now that electric cars can go so far.

"The BYD car that we drove was spacious and comfortable. It felt luxurious. It drove really well, the acceleration was impressive, and it was so smooth both in the UK and France."

The Argus: A driver planning the route to ParisA driver planning the route to Paris (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

And after a quick briefing for the final stretch to Paris, we set off on our way... feeling slightly more awake having consumed a generous amount of coffee.

The first difference about driving in France which struck us was the quality of the roads, there is almost no need to comment on the suspension of our car when there are no potholes for it to be put to use on.

We left the port city of Dieppe through the beautiful tree-lined boulevard of Avenue Gambetta.

The town is steeped in automotive history, home to the French sports car manufacturer Alpine - now a subsidiary of Renault.

The Argus: An electric MG taking part in the rally driving up Avenue GambettaAn electric MG taking part in the rally driving up Avenue Gambetta (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

And as the terraces turned into detached houses, and the detached houses turned into farmland, we quickly found overtaking was a breeze in our BYD Atto 3. The car outperforms most standard petrol cars, going 0-60 in just seven seconds.

But our time on the open French motorway network was coming to a close sooner than expected, as we decided to turn off and top up our battery in the humorously-named Pissy-Poville, near Rouen.

The Argus: A road sign nearby reading: Totes Pissy-PovilleA road sign nearby reading: Totes Pissy-Poville (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

And yes, the name of the village did influence our decision to charge there...

We hooked up to a 22 kilowatt charger in the centre of the village - home to only 1,243 residents - and left in search of some french cuisine.

We stumbled across a boulangerie in the heart of Pissy-Poville and stocked up on all four of the croque monsieur croissants on display. Easily the best ones we have ever tried.

And just to note, there was a baguette machine just outside the bakery - sadly out of service - but only in France...

The Argus: The baguette machineThe baguette machine (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

We returned to the car on full stomachs and raring to go, embarking once again on the remaining 174-kilometre journey to the French capital.

We opted to keep off the motorways for most of our trip to Paris, instead driving along beautiful open, wide, tree-lined roads through Normandy - although driving over the striking Pont Gustave-Flaubert in Rouen was a blast for us fans of huge concrete infrastructure.

The Argus: Pont Gustave-FlaubertPont Gustave-Flaubert (Image: The Argus)

We were driving from cities, to open countryside, to deep forest and hilltops all within a matter of minutes. You certainly do not get that in the UK.

This leg of the journey seemed to fly by, although this could be because we all fell asleep... bar the driver - thankfully.

And it was not long before we crossed over the River Seine and the towering buildings of La Défense - the capital's business district - loomed into view.

The Argus: La Défense as seen from the A13La Défense as seen from the A13 (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Paris really does have this big-city feel about it, especially when driving through tunnels which turn into bridges - with huge skyscrapers looming in the distance.

And once again the motorway slowed down, and we found ourselves driving right alongside the Seine towards the Eiffel Tower.

The finish line was in sight not just for us but for our car too. The estimated remaining mileage was dropping quicker than the miles covered, and we still had the challenge of not only finding a parking space - but a parking space with an electric charger.

Otherwise we would be stranded in Paris with a dead car... although is this really a bad thing?

The Argus: Driving in Paris city centreDriving in Paris city centre (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

But this is where our trip really started to feel like an adventure. Perhaps even with a bit of suspense added into the mix.

We had found a few chargers near the Eiffel Tower courtesy of the handy map inbuilt to the car, but when we arrived at each one, they were either already occupied or just for shared pool cars only.

Truly a brown trousers moment as we were cruising down Parisian boulevards with just eight miles left of charge.

And then our eyes lit up as we spotted a charger underneath the metro line in Boulevard De Grenelle.

We made it to Paris.

The Argus: Our car on charge in ParisOur car on charge in Paris (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

For many of us, driving from London to Paris is a straightforward journey and one to get us from A to B.

But taking part in an event like this really opens your eyes to the joy of the journey. It was a delight to be involved in an event at the forefront of the future of travel.

And of course, The Argus is now a part of that historic moment.