The world's greenest automakers set off March 26 for the main stage of the Alternative Energy Monte Carlo rally in Monaco.

A total of 118 vehicles will participate in the race, in a lineup dominated by major automotive brands - Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Audi, Ferrari and Tesla are amongst the makers who have provided models.

The competitors left three towns in Southern France - Clermont-Ferrand, Lugano and Annecy le Vieux bound for Valence, where they will continue on to Monaco together.

Under the rules of the competition, carmakers can enter low emission vehicles, LPG or natural gas vehicles, electric, fuel cell or hybrid vehicles, biofuel vehicles or any other green technology.

In the 2009 race, the Toyota Prius won the overall competiton, taking first and second place ahead of the hybrid Honda Insight in third.

This year's winner will collect their prize on March 28 at a ceremony at EVER Monaco, the green vehicle show that opened to the public in Monaco March 26.

Last year, debut competitor Tesla Motors set a world record for the greatest distance traveled on road by an electric vehicule without recharging, covering the 394 km Valence-to-Monaco route.


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