A Top Gear presenter has launched a pioneering car rally on Madeira Drive while other events are being cancelled.

Television personality and campaigner Quentin Wilson was at the launch where plans for this year's London to Brighton Electric Vehicle rally were revealed with high hopes to put pressure on political figures for better support for EV drivers in the UK.

The Argus: Driving into Madeira Drive in an electric BYD Atto 3Driving into Madeira Drive in an electric BYD Atto 3 (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

"We need to pick up pace and get ready for mass adoption," the former Top Gear presenter said.

More than 100 electric cars, vans and even buses will make the journey from Westminster to Brighton in June to showcase the technology.

Quentin said: "We need better infrastructure, a better understanding of the benefits of EVs and to tell people that - look - here is this band of people who are going to drive from London to Brighton to show there are a million EVs on our roads that are happily running around without complaining."

The Argus: Former Top Gear presenter Quentin WilsonFormer Top Gear presenter Quentin Wilson (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

It will return to Madeira Drive for the fourth year in a row after a successful run to Paris in 2023.

The rally reinvents the historic London to Brighton motoring tradition, after other events such as the Mini run and Speed Trials were cancelled this year.

After the Madeira Drive festival, motorists will set off on a journey to Geneva - entirely in electric cars - stopping off in Paris to showcase the range that can be achieved with the vehicles.

They plan to leave Westminster on June 22 and arrive in Geneva on June 25.

The Argus: Tom Druitt in his Big Lemon car in WestminsterTom Druitt in his Big Lemon car in Westminster (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

It is led by Bill Murray and Big Lemon bus company founder Tom Druitt, who started the event four years ago. 

Bill said: "We are looking at how we can apply pressure and use the event to try make a difference to charging infrastructure, which is woeful in some areas.

"Madeira Drive is such a historic place for motoring events and we love the fact that we are the only sustainable motoring event left here.

"We keep the cycle lane open, we embrace the public and it is free to attend."

The Argus: Bill in Dieppe last yearBill in Dieppe last year (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

The festival on June 22 will finish with a solstice party on Brighton Beach hosted by Fatboy Slim's son Woody Cook.

Council transport boss Councillor Trevor Muten said: "The London to Brighton EV rally is a fantastic event and a great chance to showcase the future of electric vehicle travel.

"We are seeing steady growth in EV ownership with more than 2000 electric vehicles now registered in Brighton and Hove.

"If funding bids are successful, we plan to install another 1650 charges over the next three years.

"Introducing more sustainable and zero emission travel is crucial to reducing our environmental impact, to stop burning polluting fossil fuels and to improve our city's air quality.

"Events like this are key to promoting the use of electric vehicles."