A conversation with his six-year-old daughter has led a man who restores and races vintage cars to have a radical rethink on green fuel.

William Medcalf, founder of Vintage Bentley in Hill Brow, was chatting to his daughter Charlotte on the way to school about his passion for old cars when the six-year-old told him that his business and the cars he races were “bad for the environment”.

The conversation brought Mr Medcalf up short, and he was soon seeking an alternative to traditional fuels. His research led him to a German company specialising in fossil-free synthetic fuel. Current production processes show a critical 77 per cent drop compared to fossil fuels.

Synthetic fuels – or e-fuels – are produced by extracting carbon dioxide and water from the environment, or from farming waste. The water is split by electrolysis, making hydrogen, which is synthesised with the carbon.

Having run numerous tests, Mr Medcalf took to the track to see how the synthetic fuel compared to his previously petrol-guzzling cars, and the results were an unmitigated success as he raced back-to-back victories at Goodwood and Castle Coombe. And he hasn’t returned to fossil fuels since.

Now he plans to race his Bentley at the Goodwood Revival in September, with the prestigious track in West Sussex showing its green credentials by only allowing cars running on e-fuels to race.

With his daughter’s words ringing in his ears, Mr Medcalf is taking a closer look at the environmental impact of his business as a whole. He is now tracking carbon consumption and calculating amounts for offsetting and capture while also reducing the amount of carbon the company produces.

With young voices like Charlotte's, and her classmates and teachers at Highfield and Brookham, driving change, the future of our planet appears brighter.