Zero emission vehicle endurance event, John O'Groats to Lands End

Cannonball EV official event rules







A road trip is planned (provisionally) for the 17th of June 2015, to set a new record for electric vehicles (without breaking the speed limit) across 894 miles to demonstrate that clean motoring can be free of frustrating range limitations and charging delays. The record is at present held by Tesla and Elon Musk, or rather, Kevin Sharpe and David Peilow - driving a Tesla.


It is planned to stage an event from the famous tip of Scotland to the tip of Cornwall (JOGLE), to encompass the 840 mile journey in under 24 hours, hoping for a sub 20 hour record, with only six stops for refreshments and refueling. The record to beat is published widely as 36 hours, set in a Tesla sports car by Kevin Sharpe and David Peilow in 2011. And it looks as if David and Kevin are limbering up to get in another run this year (2014) to try to smash their record. We wonder if they've noticed our attempt and if this may have prompted the call (to arms) for a rally? See details below - and we have also reproduced some of the media articles from 2011, so that you can review reporting from that time for yourself. Without doubt the K&Ds achievement is 2011 is fantastic and we wish them success for 2014, even though their success makes our task that bit harder. After all, we are striving for the same end: to popularize EVs.





Chris (Photo: Karl Lindsay) and Terry, co-founders of Team Speedace UK. Hoping to shave 12 hours from the Tesla record from 2011 - without exceeding the national speed limits. The team are hoping to be one of the first to be awarded one of the Blue Riband eco medals.






A road rally is being planned for September the 9th 2014 by David Peilow, along the same route that he set a record time of 36 hours in 2011. The idea is to reduce the 36 hours down to 24 hours using public charging points.


Kevin writes: 


"Three years ago @dpeilow and I drove from John o' Groats to Land's End in ~30 hours in my Tesla Roadster using public charging.


This year we hope that 5+ Roadsters will make the reverse trip from Land's End to John o' Groats [LEJOG] in ~24 hours using public charging. Prizes for the quickest trip time and lowest energy consumption will be given. The route and charging strategy are up to the teams and IMO this is where the event will be won or lost.

The exact date is to be confirmed but I wanted to get a place holder out there and suggested start dates are Tuesday 9th September and Tuesday 16th September.

ZCW hope to offer subsidised accommodation with slow charging for the nights before and after the event."



[Sep 9 or 16, 2014] Tesla Roadster - Land's End to John o' Groats rally (Cornwall)


Discussion in 'Confirmed EV Events and Meetings' started by Kevin Sharpe, Jun 11, 2014.

Kevin Sharpe Well-Known Member


Bradford on Avon, UK   @dpeilow @Arch @Mark Sanders @Eugene Lambert @Alexander Sims The members are being asked to confirm their availability on the two proposed dates and then to get any (other) prospective Roadster owners to join them on Speak EV.





Zero Carbon World's landmark trip from Land End to John O'Groats, captured the attention of the National Press after the story was picked up by ITV Westcountry news.


After being interviewed by an ITV film crew at Whitesands Hotel, Lands End – a featured stop on the epic journey – it was evident that the total £20 cost of the great feat captured the heart of the nation in these current times of austerity.


Kevin Sharpe, the founder of Zero Carbon World, completed the trip on May 22nd. Thanks to some hard work from the team here, the story eventually broke on ITV Westcountry evening news on Monday 13th June. 


The story gained pace and featured heavily online, particularly on ‘green’ websites in Cornwall and the South West, such as This Is Cornwall, Western Morning News and CoAST. Details of the journey sparked some furious debate in forums associated with these websites. Thanks to some assertive knowledge from Zero Carbon World and its affiliates the attempted ‘EV bashing’ was put to an abrupt end. 


After the nerve the story touched, it wasn’t long before National tabloids realised what a great story the journey was. During a publicity tour of the South West, stopping at Pollaughan Cottages in Truro and the Whitecastle Hotel in Taunton Kevin was interviewed by National Press agencies before the story eventually appeared in the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail on Friday 17th June. The scale of the achievement was apparent even in the tabloids, all helping to raise awareness and convincing even the staunchest of petrol heads that EV’s are the future of auto- motion. 




This weekend, a Tesla Roadster will travel the length of the UK from John O’Groats to Lands End, using a combination of Tesla’s new High Power Connector (HPC) charging network and Zero Carbon World’s free recharging network to keep the car topped up along the way.

The historic drive, the first ever attempted by an electric car using publicly accessible charging points, will be undertaken by Kevin Sharpe, founder of the charity Zero Carbon World, and electric car enthusiast David Peilow.

Both men have been instrumental in building nationwide charging networks. Kevin Sharpe’s charity, Zero Carbon World, has been building a network of freely accessible charging points across the UK that can be used by all electric car owners. David Peilow was the man behind the Tesla UK-wide HPC charging network announced earlier this week.

The trip was conceived to show that it is possible to make long journeys with an electric car.

“I’m thrilled to be the first electric car driver to make the historic drive from John O’Groats to Land’s End,” said Sharpe. “These charging networks empower people to make choices that are pleasurable and consistent with their values of environmental stewardship.”

The drive starts on Saturday morning at John O’Groats, the most northerly point on the Scottish mainland. They expect to reach Lands End on Sunday afternoon.













1st STOP







2nd STOP








3rd STOP







4th STOP







5th STOP







6th STOP







7th STOP







8th STOP







9th STOP















Ergonomic seating position, testing the BE4


Chris checks out the driving position for comfort (ergonomics) and visibility. Cars are designed to make driving easy and seating comfortable, yet of the thousands of vehicles on the road, they all feel different to drive - and that difference can make one car safer than another - because a car that feels natural to the driver is bound to be easier to control in a stressful situation, such as an emergency stop, avoidance, etc.






Our charging strategy is rather different to that for most other currently available EVs, which is one reason why the organizers say that it is important for the the rules to allow custom cars (provided that those custom cars are based on production vehicle running gear); simply because this series of runs is designed to encourage innovation.


FAST CHARGE - Most other teams will be looking for fast charging points and will then plan their route around those geographical locations. Should there be EV service stations along the way, those too would provide a route that may offer an advantage, for example if using the Tesla or Better Place battery cartridge exchange system.


RORO BATTERY EXCHANGE - Our strategy is far simpler. We have planned our attempt directly using the shortest route, and will provide energy cartridges for our car at temporary roadside pick up stations, (using a system approved by ACCUS, the US arm of the FIA, for speed record events). The patent (roll off roll on) Bluebird™ RoRo system is ideal for such arrangements. Universities that may be interested in using this technology as the basis for further research, perhaps for Horizon or TSB funded projects, should contact:


SIMULATION - By this means Team Speedace hope to keep recharging stops to just a few minutes, to include refreshments. This will take the theoretical 17 hours and 53 minutes (see table above) to between 18hrs 38 mins - 19hrs 23 mins - 20hrs 3 mins, depending on how long we allow the drivers for refreshments: 5, 10 or 15 minutes? It is thus possible to complete a sub 20 hour run with a fair wind.


Using the nine geographical stops shown above, will give us data for one route along the length of the UK, which could be the basis for a UK study to simulate the practicality of the transition from a petrol based economy to renewable energy - a significant step towards sustainable Britain.


FRIENDLY COMPETITION - In theory, a standard Tesla vehicle could be recharged in about 90 seconds, provided that there is a service station en route. Thus, a Tesla could also achieve a sub 20 hour run with roadside support.





Two drivers will swap duties as they feel jaded, so complying with national rest regulations. The car is capable of 100mph, but the drivers know that they must not break any speed restrictions - and will have to deal with regular traffic at two peaks; the morning and evening rush hours.


Traveling at a regular pace is more demanding on a driver, where the lack of change may induce a state of lethargy. An expert has raised this as something to be aware of. Thus, we may pull over to change drive more often than the above charging stops.



Project leader Chris making a hinge for the gull wing doors     Project co-founder Terry preparing to fit the first of the Ecostar's bodywork


August 2014 - LEFT: Chris hand making a hinge component for the gull wing doors RIGHT: Terry trimming  the chassis rails ready to fit the first bit of bodywork. 'T' shirts were the order of the day where it was a very hot day in the workshop. 




August 2014 - Karl is not just the team's official photographer. Here he is cutting plywood formers for the nose and wing sections of the Ecostar DC50.  Karl will be crewing in one of the support vehicles, a customized VW surfing wagon, that is on loan from the Kismet Girls Trust. This bus is very rare in that it has dual sliding doors. This is one of Joss Stone's favourite vehicles. It was one of the last of the boxer engined (air cooled) vans off the production line in Germany in 1968, making it 46 years old. Wow. Karl will be planning the route to enable him to capture the best movie sequences of the event for an eventual documentary.






Help with the development and running cost of this UK event is welcomed, by way of sponsorship, technical help, or contributions in kind. The team are looking for: Fuel Cells; Batteries; Composites; Communications; Metals, Solar Cells and more. 


Our first sponsor is Bluebird Marine Systems, followed by the Sino-Swiss Titanium Company from China. Why not make your name the next on the list today. We are looking for a Prime Sponsor (or shared sponsorship) - who will receive major billing on the vehicle and therefore in any documentary. We are also looking for associate sponsors by way of smaller contributions.


If this event is of interest to you or your organisation, or company for the June 2015 Cannonball Jogle event please contact:


Project leader UK -

World route admin -  cannon@Bluebird-Electric.Net



The Bluebird World Cup Trophy





The vehicle is a two seat sports city car featuring cartridge recharging, as follows:






550 KG


700 KG




33.5 hp each (50kW)


62kW/hr (3.6vx200ah x 24)


67 HP






Double wishbone independent - rubber suspension


Trailing arm independent - rubber suspension




Ventilated discs


Hub shoes




2 people




185/55R13 (tubeless) eco tyres




2600 mm


1510 mm


  990 mm        = 1.48 m2 frontal area x Cd .25


1800 mm


1330 mm


1360 mm


5.0 M


165 mm




350 km (@ ave speed 60 kph)


120 kph


30- 60 seconds



Bluebird electric vehicle recharging system as a range extender


Compare the Autocad drawing above to the drawing at the foot of this page. This is the Ecostar DC50, a city car with a 20Kw/hr lithium ion battery cartridge and a built in rapid exchange system. With around 1.8 meters of solar cells, this car can recharge itself every week in favorable weather conditions. The car uses Austin production running gear and may one day become a production kit car - or at least be available built for you. The DC50 also features gull wing doors. This will be the first road car (ever) to bear the blue bird legend.



Group photo: Team Speedace - UK Cannonball Jogle Run


Group meeting July 2014 - Team Speedace + guest consultant. Note another visitor, now the team's mascot (apprentice mechanic) sitting upfront between the founding members: Terry and Chris.  The team's photographer (2nd row left), Karl, joins us this month with a mission to keep a video record of development from August.  Copyright photographs © Max Energy Ltd. You will need permission to reproduce these pictures. Higher resolutions are available for the media - on request. 



Building a car with a wooden body and gull wing doors    Aluminium wheel arches, build your own kit car


November 2014 - The aluminium wheel arch formers were cut ready to build up and shape the wings. These will be made in carbon fibre, hence will be a composite. Do not underestimate the value of wood and carpentry skills in prototype building.



The project leader January 2015 


December 2014 - LEFT: Chris, building up a wing in foam. RIGHT: Getting messy shaping the foam and note that the lower spoiler (air dam) will also form part of the nose molding. You can't make an omelet without cracking a few eggs. If using this technique to build your car, please dispose of plastic waste responsibly.



Shaping a composite wing in foam for carbon fibre molding    The drivers wing and a stained glass ornament blue bird


January 2015 - Taking the rough with the smooth. There is still a whole lot of grunt left for the team to push through to attain their dream car. But, the heart strings are being plucked nicely now, as a pleasing shape is emerging. This is automotive art, not engineering. Sculpture to be more accurate. The stained glass bluebird is by Pamela Holmes of Glassfollies, based at Hurstpierpoint in West Sussex.



Supercar, electric city sports show car concept prototype  The first road car to carry the blue bird legend


January 2015 - Check out the difference between the driver and passenger sides. The passenger side is rough shaped, the drivers side is nearing the final (detail) shaping stage. Sculpting is so rewarding. British craftsmanship pops up in surprising places. Terry is of course part Italian. Why are we not surprised. Sealing and painting of replacement parts is making the car look different. Imagine this shape with windscreen, headlights and grille.


We are looking at some rather tasty wheel motors for the final JOGLE attempt, front wheel drive. An extremely nippy 4x4 version is now a very real possibility. Still with instant cartridge exchanges and a choice of battery or fuel cell options. 2015 looks to be an interesting year.




GOOGLE MAPS SUGGESTED ROUTE 837 mi, 14 hours 12 mins


John o' Groats, Highland, UK

1. Head west toward A99  -  75 ft

2. Turn left onto A99  -  13.0 mi

3. Turn left to stay on A99  -  3.1 mi

4. Turn right onto Bridge St/A99  -  Continue to follow A99
    Go through 1 roundabout  -  16.9 mi

5. Continue straight onto A9  -  Go through 2 roundabouts  -  55.6 mi

6. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and stay on A9
    Go through 3 roundabouts  -  138 mi

7. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on A9  -  2.5 mi

8. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and stay on A9  -  26.3 mi

9. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto M9 heading to Stirling/Edinburgh/Glasgow/M80 
    -  6.6 mi

10. Continue onto M80  -  13.6 mi

11. Keep left to continue on M73, follow signs for A80/M74  -  6.4 mi

12. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for M74/Carlisle and merge onto M74  -  32.9 mi

13. Continue onto A74(M)  -  45.5 mi

14. Continue onto M6  -  194 mi

15. At junction 8, exit onto M5 toward Birmingham (W & S)/West Bromwich  -  163 mi

16. Exit onto A30 toward Bodmin/Okehampton  -  Go through 4 roundabouts  -  108 mi

17. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit and stay on A30  -  

     Go through 7 roundabouts  -  12.4 mi

18. Turn left  -  Destination will be on the right  -  177 ft

     Lands End Visitors Centre, Custom House
     Penzance TR19 7AA, United Kingdom









Land's End to John o' Groats is the traversal of the whole length of the island of Great Britain between two extremities; in the southwest and northeast. The traditional distance by road is 874 miles (1,407 km) and takes most cyclists ten to fourteen days; the record for running the route is nine days. Off-road walkers typically walk about 1,200 miles (1,900 km) and take two or three months for the expedition. Two much-photographed signposts indicate the traditional distance at each end.

Land's End is the extreme southwestward (but not southern or western) point of Great Britain, situated in western Cornwall at the end of the Penwith peninsula, O.S. Grid Reference SW342250, Post Code TR19 7AA. The most southerly point is Lizard Point.

John o' Groats is the traditionally acknowledged extreme northern point of mainland Scotland, in northeastern Caithness, O.S. Grid Reference ND380735, Post Code KW1 4YR. The actual northernmost point is at nearby Dunnet Head. The point that is actually farthest by road from Land's End is Duncansby Head, about 2 miles (3.2 km) from John o' Groats.

The straight-line distance from Land's End to John o' Groats is 603 miles (970 km) as determined from O.S. Grid References, but such a route passes over a series of stretches of water in the Irish Sea.

According to a road atlas of 1964, the shortest route using classified roads was 847 miles (1,363 km). According to a road atlas of 2008, the shortest route using classified roads was 838 miles (1,349 km). In 2011 an online route planner calculated the quickest route by road as 838 miles (1,349 km), estimating a time of 15 hours 48 minutes for the journey (this uses A30, M5, M6, A74(M), M74, M73, M80, M9, A9 & A99). However, the overall shortest route by road, using minor roads in numerous places and utilising modern bridges, has been reduced to around 814 miles (1,310 km). This route is roughly follows: 


Land's End, 






the M5 Avon Bridge, 

the M48 Severn Bridge, 





St Helens, 













Kessock Bridge, 

Cromarty Bridge, 

Dornoch Firth Bridge, 



John o' Groats




No it's not a dance, although! One of the questions to ask yourself before you decide to travel across Britain is, 'Which way should I go?'  This is more important where you are walking.


There are two options: Land's End to John o'Groats (also known as the LEJOG) or John o'Groats to Land's End (known as the JOGLE). 


LEJOG - There are a number of practical reasons to go from south to north: 

1. GEOGRAPHICAL - if you live nearer to Land's End than to John o'Groats, by walking from south to north, it made it a lot easier to get to the starting point (and easier to go home if you decide to give up early on).


2. HEAT - If you travel from south to north and set off in spring, then the weather stays reasonably constant throughout the trip because the weather warms up as you go to the colder north. 


If you go from north to south, then you start off in much harsher weather and end up in sweltering Cornwall for the heat of midsummer, not a pleasant prospects for a walker with a heavy back-pack.

3. VISION - Walking from south to north means the sun is more often at your back, rather than in your eyes. This makes for a more pleasant walk if you've got sensitive eyes.

4. BUGS - The prevailing winds in the spring and summer generally blow from south to north (though that's only a trend). This means that not only do you get a little extra push on your way, but more importantly the wind doesn't blow dust and insects in your face all.

5. CROWDING - Cornwall from June to September is typically crowded, making life hard if you come in right in the middle of summer. By comparison, John o'Groats rarely becomes crowded, even in peak season.

6. TRAINING - The walking in Scotland is reasonably challenging, whereas the section through southwest England is flat and relatively easy underfoot. This means that if you go from south to north, you've got an easier run at the start in which to get fit, and by the time you get to the mountains of Scotland, you'll have developed plenty of muscle.

7. LITERATURE - If you plan of using trails like the Pennine Way, the West Highland Way, or the Cotswold Way, most of the guidebooks describe these routes from south to north. The books are thus easier to follow if you head north.

Similarly, if you head north, then your maps will be the right way around. If you Jogle, you'll have to read place names upside down, or brush up on spatial awareness.

8. SCENERY - Starting from John o'Groats, your first experience of the walk is the tedious and potentially treacherous A99, followed by the equally hazardous A9. The rolling countryside of Cornwall wins hands down as to a pleasant start.


JOGLE - Equally, there are several good reasons to go from north to south:


1. For Team Speedace (by car), we'd prefer to travel to Scotland to start to be in the south for a celebratory conclusion, also closer to home, for getting back to Sussex.


2. By starting in Scotland and heading south, we'll avoid the midge season. We won't get fitter because we're driving - but we would if we were walking.


3. Psychologically it will feel like it's downhill all the way. If we lived in Scotland, it would make the start more convenient. 


Whether you decide to go for the LEJOG or the JOGLE, it's still going to be the experience of a lifetime.






Motoring events between the two extremities have been held since the first decade of the 20th century, when the Auto-Cycle Union organised a series of runs for motorcycles. In 1911, Ivan B. Hart-Davies became the holder of the final Land's End to John o' Groats record for solo motorcycles. Riding his 3.5 hp single-speed Triumph, he covered the 886 miles in 29 hours, 12 minutes. As his average speed exceeded the then-maximum of 20 mph, further official record attempts were banned by the A. C. U.

The Motor Cycling Club (which had been running the London to Land's End Trial since 1908, still held today, at least in name) put on an annual Land's End to John o' Groats Run from 1923 to 1928 which included cars as well as motorcycles. These events were also known as the End to End. In 2006, BBC Television ran a series of three programmes called The Lost World of Friese-Greene covering Claude Friese-Greene's 1920s-era road trip from Land's End to John o' Groats. The trip had originally been filmed using the Biocolour process, developed by Claude's father William Friese-Greene and the film had degraded. The original print of Claude's film was subjected to computer enhancement by the British Film Institute to remove the flickering problem inherent in the Biocolour process.

In 1984, Neal Champion covered 884 miles from John o' Groats to Land's End in 11 hours, 14 minutes, on a Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo.

On 17 September 1988, Andrew Frankel and Mark Connaughton drove from Land's End to John o'Groats in a standard production Alfa Romeo 164 in 12 hours 30 minutes, including stops for refuelling.

In 1993, John Brown initiated the Land's End to John o' Groats Historic Reliability Trial, a race for vintage road vehicles. The race is held each December and is a tough, three-day rally for old and classic cars, built between the 1920s and 1970s. The route takes a long 1,400-mile (2,300 km) route, using remote upland roads of the west of England, Wales (during the night), the Pennines and Scotland. Medals are awarded in gold, silver and bronze categories.

On 15–16 April 1997, Hugh Edeleanu drove the route in a JCB excavator in a time of 22 hours, 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

In June 2001, Wayne Booth became the first person to do the journey by motorcycle without stopping; the 37-year-old completed the historic trip in 14 hours and 52 minutes, averaging 57 mph, on a modified 1,000cc Honda Varedero, complete with additional 74 litre petrol tank. The meticulously researched route of 854 miles passed through just two sets of traffic lights and was completed within all highway regulations, law and speed limits. Booth and the dozen strong support team raised over £1,000 for The National Childbirth Trust and MacMillan Cancer Relief.

On 22 May 2011, Kevin Sharpe and David Peilow completed the first end-to-end run from John o' Groats to Land's End in an electric car over two days, using only charging points available to the general public, in a Tesla Roadster Sport.

On 7 August 2011, Darren Whitehead & Tony Dwight travelled 1071 miles from John o' Groats to Lands' End (including crossing the Welsh border) in 5 days using two ride-on Wheel Horse Lawn Mowers. They also raised money for charity during the trip which was named The Lawn Way Down.








There are two organisations supporting people undertaking the journey.

1. The Land's End–John o' Groats Association is a non-commercial organisation established in 1983 for "those who have completed the epic journey from Land’s End to John o' Groats, or vice versa, by any means in a single trip".

2. The Land's End John o' Groats Club, which is sponsored by the company that operates facilities at Land's End and John o' Groats, the end points. It holds an Annual Awards ceremony to select the most notable 'end-to-enders' each year.



September 9 2014 tesla roadster lands end to john o groats rally cornwall

Daily Mirror news motorist-drives-from-john-ogroats-to-lands end

Lands end john ogroats walking_tips lejog_or_jogle

Zero carbon world landmark trip attracts national media lands-end

Lands end landmark

Lands end

UK end to end


VAUXHALL AMPERA endurance ev attempt 2010_ampera_e-revs








A taste for adventure capitalists



How it all started: Compare the bare frame above to the drawing at the head of this page. It's about time we had an EV compatible with battery or hydrogen fuel cell technology. The Ecostar DC50 by Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd may well be the vehicle that changes all that for 2015.







The content of this website is copyright © 2015 Electrick Publications. All rights reserved. The bluebird logo Bluebird electric motors, solar panels and batteries logo, trademark legendand name Bluebird and Blue Max are trademarks.  The BE2 and BE3 vehicle shape and configuration are registered designs ®.  All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged.  Max Energy Limited is an educational charity.