So I lied. Ahead of this year's Future Car Challenge I described it as the best way of gauging the real world energy use of the latest low emission cars.
What a load of twaddle. Before I'd crossed the startline yesterday morning my blood was pumping and my mind concentrating. I wasn't there to drive normally, I was there to do the best I could.
So it was I dropped into looking as far ahead up the road as possible as I tried to conserve the battery power in the VW Golf Blu-e-motion electric car I was driving (last year's winner, no less). I rolled up to traffic lights, timed my arrival at roundabouts and coasted down hills. Yes, I was a little slow for some people's liking, and perhaps more occasionally than normal I rolled through some 'cherry green' traffic lights a touch after they'd switched from amber.
Truth is, we've all got an eco driver hiding inside us, just waiting to be brought out. On the entire 60-mile journey I only used the foot brake five or six times (yep, rally drivers rejoice, the handbrake is a legitimate eco driving tool in competition) and I cursed having to pull up at traffic lights and waste hard earned momentum.
The full results have yet to be announced, although the best overall entry has been confirmed as Gordon Murray and his T.27 design. As for me, despite my best efforts and a winning car, I have low expectations. The inboard readout suggested I'd used 11kWh/100km of energy, close to last year's winning figure, but with the benefit of far clearer traffic conditions.
The electric Golf goes on sale in 2013, and whether you like it or not there's a growing momentum about alternatively powered cars. It's taken a competition for me to embrace eco driving, but what do you think will convince you? The day you can actually save money, the day you can go faster for no extra cost or the the day hell freezes over?