Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:34 EDT

AJAC Eco-Run Demonstrates Merits of Fuel-saving Technologies

June 21, 2013

Exercise proves official fuel-consumption figures can be achieved in
real-world driving

TORONTO, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ – The second annual AJAC Eco-Run, conducted
recently by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC),
produced some eye-opening results with respect to the relative merits
of different fuel-saving technologies and the effect of driving style
on fuel economy.

The 2013 Eco-Run, which began in Ottawa and ended in Montreal, was not
intended to be a competition among vehicles but a demonstration of the
broad range of technologies currently available to help consumers
reduce their fuel consumption and costs.

The results of the exercise support a number of important observations
and conclusions:

– First, and perhaps most important, when drivers deliberately apply
fuel-efficient driving techniques, as the journalists taking part in
this exercise did, they can achieve some remarkably low
fuel-consumption figures.

– The overall average fuel-consumption for the 22 vehicles in the
Eco-Run was just 5.27 L/100 km.

Significantly, that figure is below the average combined official
fuel-consumption figures published in Natural Resources Canada’s
Energuide for the same vehicles.

The majority of the individual vehicles also bettered their official
ratings, proving that they are in fact attainable in the real world
when the vehicles are driven in a fuel-efficient manner.

– Perhaps surprisingly, that average also bettered the government’s
proposed fleet-average fuel-consumption target for 2025 (approximately
5.6 L/100 km).

While the group of vehicles in the Eco-Run does not represent the same
distribution as that of the total vehicle population, the result is
encouraging nonetheless, demonstrating that the target is potentially
achievable with a broad mix of vehicle types.

– It is also important to note that these results, in most respects,
equal or better the official fuel-consumption figures published in
Natural Resources Canada’s Energuide, proving that they are in fact
attainable in the real world.

The 22 vehicles in the Eco-Run, provided by their manufacturers,
encompassed a wide range of fuel-efficient technologies and
powerplants, from battery-electric through plug-in and conventional
hybrids, to advanced gasoline and diesel engines.

They ranged in size and type from sub-compact through compact cars to a
full-size SUV and a pickup truck.

While no statistically valid conclusions can be drawn from the results
in terms of car-to-car comparisons, several trends are apparent with
respect to technologies:

– On a pure energy-efficiency basis, battery-electric vehicles (EVs) are
by far the most efficient in both city and highway operation – for
those whose lifestyle can accommodate the limited range and long
recharge times inherent in EV use.

– Plug-in hybrids were the next-most-efficient as a group, achieving
significantly better fuel economy than conventional hybrids in city
driving, where they were able to operate in electric mode for much of
the relatively short trips.

– Hybrids, as a group, had lower fuel consumption than gasoline or
diesel vehicles overall, with a greater advantage apparent in city
driving than on the highway. They were, however, the only group that
did not better their official fuel-consumption ratings in the context
of the Eco-Run.

– While hybrids excelled in city operation, when comparing vehicles of
similar size and type the best of the gasoline- and diesel-powered
vehicles were as good as or better than some of the hybrids on the

– The diesel-powered vehicles tended to be slightly more fuel-efficient
than their direct gasoline counterparts in highway operation, but not
in city operation.

“The Eco-Run was a great opportunity, not just for automotive
journalists, but for all consumers to find out more about fuel
efficiency and how easy it can be, no matter what you drive, to save
money on fuel” said Ian Jack, CAA Managing Director of Communications
and Government Relations.

The Eco-Run clearly demonstrated that consumers now have a broad range
of fuel-efficient technologies available from which to choose, in a
variety of vehicle types and sized to suit every purpose.  Eco-Run
partners include; Natural Resources Canada, The Canadian Automobile
Association, CrossChasm, Stantec and Schneider Electric.

A list of the vehicles included in the 2013 AJAC Eco-Run and their
individual fuel-consumption results and NRCan ratings accompany this
release. Further information is available at www.ajac.ca/eco-run.

                       2013 AJAC Eco-Run Fuel Consumption Summary

                      Fuel Consumption (L(Le)/100km)   NRCan Ratings (L

                      City Avg Hwy Avg Overall Avg     City Hwy Combined

    Electric Vehicle                                             

    Ford Focus EV        1.81    1.74        1.78      1.7  2.0    1.8

    Mitsubishi i-MiEV    1.18    1.22        1.22      1.9  2.4    2.1

    smart fortwo         1.35    1.54        1.50      1.5  2.1    1.8
    electric drive

    Electric Vehicle     1.45    1.50        1.50      1.7  2.2    1.9

    Plug-in Hybrid                                                    

    Chevrolet Volt       1.51    2.72        2.39      6.7  5.4    6.1

    Ford Fusion          1.65    4.12        3.44      4.3  4.7    4.5

    Honda Accord         2.63    4.38        3.91      4.0  4.2    4.1
    Plug-in Hybrid

    Plug-in Hybrid       2.97    5.61        3.74      5.0  4.8    4.9


    Ford C-MAX Hybrid    5.93    5.08        5.39      4.0  4.1    4.0

    Hyundai Sonata       6.08    6.63        6.54      5.5  4.6    5.1

    Infiniti M35h        8.22    7.87        8.07      7.5  6.1    6.9

    Lexus ES300h         5.75    5.78        5.83      4.7  5.1    4.9

    Toyota Prius v       4.98    5.05        5.09      4.3  4.8    4.5

    Volkswagen Jetta
    Turbocharged         3.60    4.68        4.41      4.5  4.2    4.4

    Hybrid Average       5.67    5.85        5.86      5.1  4.8    5.0


    Kia Rio LX + ECO     7.16    6.04        6.44      6.8  5.4    6.2

    Mazda CX-5           6.72    6.02        6.29      7.7  6.1    7.0

    Mazda Mazda3         6.27    4.78        5.28      7.1  4.9    6.1

    Mazda Mazda6         6.27    5.64        5.89      7.6  5.1    6.5

    Mercedes-Benz         NA      NA           NA      7.9  5.5    6.8

    Ram 1500 HFE        11.06    9.18        9.84      11.4 7.8    9.8

    Subaru Forester      7.77    6.27        6.79      9.9  7.5    8.8

    Gasoline Average     7.54    6.32        6.76      9.7  7.1    8.5


    Chevrolet Cruze      7.81    4.99        5.88      7.5  4.2    6.0

    Mercedes-Benz        7.43    5.92        6.44      8.3  5.9    7.2
    GLK250 BlueTEC

    Porsche Cayenne      8.90    7.95        8.32      10.8 6.7    9.0

    Diesel Average       8.05    6.29        6.88      8.9  5.6    7.4

    Overall Average      5.43    5.12        5.27      6.2  4.9    5.6

SOURCE Automobile Journalists Association of Canada

Source: PR Newswire