Jeff Allan (Ha. 1968-73) recently visited Brighton College after gaining a Guinness World Record with his son, Ben, for the shortest charging time to cross Europe (Nordkapp, Norway to Tarifa, Spain) in an electric vehicle.
The record relates to a 4000 mile journey but Jeff and Ben had to drive a total of 8000 miles to get to the start point, drive the record run, then drive home. This is the second Guinness World Record that Jeff and Ben have collected. The first was a similar award for shortest charging time John o’Groats to Lands End.
After leaving Brighton College, Jeff studied Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Birmingham University. He gained a B.Sc. then completed a Ph.D. in a topic which is of importance today to electric cars - regenerative braking, whereby the battery is charged as the car slows down. Jeff began a career in railways, starting as a lecturer at Birmingham University. He now runs a small company which carries out consultancy on innovation in railways. The company uses the profits to promote electric cars and hydrogen powered rail vehicles, busses and trucks. He also competes in amateur motor sports in an electric car and can be seen each year in an electric car at Brighton National Speed Trials on Maderia Drive in September. He has produced a free book on electric cars titled “Can you drive an Electric car in Britain?” available at www.jeffvehicles.com.
Jeff remembers Brighton College fondly. His teachers in Maths and Physics in particular were outstanding and gave him a strong foundation which has lasted decades. Jeff built a car while at Brighton College. Jeff was at the college at the same time as Jonathan Palmer (A. 1969-74). Johnathan was just beginning his motoring career which included a spell in Formula 1. He was second in the Le Mans 24 hour race and now owns a number of UK racing circuits. Clearly it was a time when there was an automotive buzz around the school.