Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Earthshot in electric Audi

Sustainability drive! Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived at Earthshot Prize Awards in a fully electric Audi – after installing a charging point at Kensington Palace

  • Prince William and Kate Middleton, both 39, were driven in Audi RS e-tron GT 
  • The car uses battery powered motors to drive without carbon dioxide emission 
  • Prince Charles revealed that William has charging point at Kensington Palace
  • Earthshot Prize ceremony is first in royal’s global environmental competition

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at the first Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony in a fully electric Audi, hours after it was revealed William has installed a charging point at Kensington Palace. 

Last night’s award ceremony at Alexandra Palace was the first in Prince William’s decade-long global environmental competition, awarding £1million to five winners for an idea to protect the planet.  

Kate Middleton and William, both 39, were chauffeured to the event in a vehicle from Audi’s e-tron range, which uses electric battery powered motors to drive without carbon dioxide emissions. 

It was revealed yesterday that the Duke has installed an electric car charger at his royal residence in London, as Prince Charles, 72, praised his son for his ‘growing commitment to the environment’. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 39, arrived at the first Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony in a fully electric Audi 

Kate Middleton and William were chauffeured to the event in a vehicle from Audi’s e-tron range, which uses electric battery powered motors to drive without carbon dioxide emissions 

The couple arrived in the Audi RS e-tron GT, which is built alongside the legendary Audi R8 at the Böllinger Höfe facility in Germany.   

It features a 800-volt lithium-ion battery and provides a range of up to 283 miles, with the engine taking around five minutes to charge enough power for the next 62 miles.

Unlike petrol or diesel-powered engines, the eco-friendly motor can be re-charged at home and The Mail on Sunday previously learned that William has had a charging point installed at Kensington Palace for an electric car. 

It was revealed yesterday that the Duke has installed an electric car charger at his royal residence, as Prince Charles, 72, praised his son for his ‘growing commitment to the environment’ 

A source said it was ‘the first phase of a project to install charging points across the entire Royal estate’. 

Charles also recently revealed that his 51-year-old Aston Martin – gifted to him by the Queen for his 21st birthday in 1969 – had been converted to run on surplus wine and whey from cheese.

The car now runs on a fuel called E85, which is made up of 85 per cent bioethanol and 15 per cent unleaded petrol. 

By blending petrol with ethanol, motorists don’t need as much fossil fuel, which reduces carbon emissions and allows the vehicle to run ‘cleaner’.

Charles explained how he had his Aston Martin converted so it runs on English wine and whey from cheese production

In a rare and touching public statement of support ahead of last night’s award ceremony, Charles spoke of William’s ‘bold ambition’ when it comes to the environment. 

He added: ‘As a world, we need to come together to inspire, reimagine and build the sustainable future we so desperately need. 

‘Over the coming decade, with future generations in mind, the Earthshot Prize, and its inspirational nominees, will help us find the innovative solutions.’ 

The Earthshot prize was launched last year to search for ways to tackle the problems facing the planet and the first-ever five winners were revealed last night at a glittering ceremony held in London. 

Each winner will receive £1million prize money and a global network of support to scale their cutting-edge environmental solutions to repair our planet.

No stars flew into London for the ceremony and guests were asked by organisers to ‘consider the environment when choosing their outfit’. 

Sir David Attenbrough is pictured bowing to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the first Earthshot Prize awards ceremony

The Duchess of Cambridge talks with broadcaster David Attenborough as they attend the first ever Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony at Alexandra Palace in London

Most guests followed WIlliam and Kate by re-using an outfit they had previously worn. 

William wore the same bottle green jacket at Centrepoint’s 50th Anniversary two years ago, while Kate wore a £4,290 Alexander McQueen dress she first wore ten years ago in 2011, at a Bafta reception in Los Angeles.

William warned that we live in ‘the most consequential time in human history’ as he addressed the audience at the ceremony. 


The Earthshot Prize Winners for 2021 are:

Protect and Restore Nature

The Republic of Costa Rica 

With an innovative policy paying citizens to protect the rainforests and restore local ecosystems, the people of Costa Rica and their Ministry for Environment have reversed decades of deforestation. 

Since the programme launched, Costa Rica’s forests have doubled in size, leading to a boom in ecotourism and contributing 4 billion to the economy Through winning The Earthshot Prize, Costa Rica will expand their work to protect the ocean and support the replication of their approach in other countries, especially in the Global South. 

Clean our Air

Takachar, India 

New Delhi-based Takachar has developed pioneering technology to help end the burning of agricultural waste, which causes severe air pollution. Their cheap, small-scale, portable technology attaches to tractors and converts crop residues into sellable products like fuel and fertilizer and helps reduce smoke emissions by up to 98%. 

By winning The Earthshot Prize, Takachar will expand its operations to more rural communities around the world with a goal to cut a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. 

Revive our Oceans

Coral Vita, Bahamas 

Coral Vita’s innovative approach to coral farming of growing coral on land then replanting it in the ocean can grow coral up to 50 times faster than traditional methods and improves coral resilience to the impact of climate change. 

Winning The Earthshot Prize will accelerate Coral Vita’s goal to establish a global network of coral farms to grow a billion corals each year. 

Build a Waste-free World

The City of Milan Food Waste Hubs, Italy 

As the first major city to enforce a city-wide food waste policy, Milan’s Food Waste Hub programme recovers food from local supermarkets and restaurants and distributes it to citizens in need, recovering about 130 tonnes of food per year, an estimated 260,000 meals equivalent. 

Through winning The Earthshot Prize, the city of Milan’s model can be scaled to other cities. 

Fix our Climate

AEM Electrolyser, Thailand/Germany/Italy 

The AEM Electrolyser from Enapter turns renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas with a technology that has been developed quicker and cheaper than ever before and can transform how we power our homes and buildings and fuel transport. Funding from The Earthshot Prize will help scale mass production, making it universally easy to buy and install AEM Electrolysers wherever activities have high energy demand.

‘The future is ours to determine, and if we set our minds to it, nothing is impossible. I want to say something to all the young people watching tonight.’ 

‘For too long, we haven’t done enough to protect the planet for your future. But Earthshot is for you. In the next ten years we are going to act. We are going to find the solutions to repair our planet. ‘ 

Following a performance by Coldplay and Korean boy band BTS, powered by 60 people pedalling bicycles, William gave a stark warning that ‘time is running out’ to tackle climate change, adding: ‘The actions we choose or choose not to take in the next 10 years will determine the fate of the planet for the next thousand.

The five winners, which span the globe from Costa Rica to India, include transformative technologists, innovators, an entire country, and a pioneering city and were chosen for their ground-breaking solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet.

The first award to be handed out went to Gator Halpern and Sam Teicher of Coral Vita – a project which grows coral on land to replenish life in dying ocean ecosystems. Its methods grow coral up to 50 times faster than typical methods and improves resilience to the impact of climate change. 

They beat competitors Pristine Seas and Living Sea Walls.

Actors Emma Thompson, Emma Watson and David Oyelowo are joining Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, in handing out the awards at Alexandra Palace in north London.  

Emma Watson presented the second award, which went to AEM Electrolyser, which turns renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas. 

Vidyut Mohan of Takachar, which converts leftover crops in fuel, won the following prize. Takachar developed a cheap, small-scale, portable technology that attaches to tractors in remote farms, converting crop residues into bio-products like fuel and fertilizer.

Emma Thompson presented the fourth Earthshot award to the city of Milan, whose Food Waste Hubs aim to halve waste by 2030. Each hub recovers food, primarily from supermarkets and companies’ canteens, and gives it to NGOs who distribute it to citizens. 

And presenting the fifth and final award, The Duchess of Cambridge said: ‘Nature is vital to us all… But for too long we’ve neglected our wild spaces and now w’ere facing a number of tipping points. If we don’t act now we will permanently destabilise our planet and rob our children of the future they deserve.’ 

The award went to the Republic of Costa Rica, whose Ministry for Environment paid citizens to protect forests, plant trees, and restore ecosystems, leading to the country’s forests doubling in size. 

William closed the event by announcing that the following year’s Earthshot event would be held in the United States – where his brother Prince Harry lives with Meghan Markle. 

In a video message pre-recorded from the London Eye, Prince William said yesterday: ‘Today the warning sounds around the world are clear. We don’t need a Moonshot, we need Earthshots.

‘Each year for the next 10 years we will award five prizes, one for each Earthshot, to those who bring hope into our future.’

William said many of the answers to mitigate the challenges the earth faces are ‘out there’ but ‘we need everyone from all parts of society to raise their ambition and unite in repairing out planet.   

William’s Earthshot Prize takes its inspiration from the Apollo moon landings, nicknamed Moonshot, which helped advance mankind’s technological achievements.

It features five categories, or Earthshots – Protect and restore nature; Clean our air, Revive our oceans; Build a waste-free world; and Fix our climate – which organisers say, if achieved by 2030, would improve life for all. 

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