2014 AJAC EcoRun a success despite soggy finale

VANCOUVER, May 9, 2014 /CNW/ - The third annual Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) EcoRun successfully completed its three-day run Thursday, rolling into Vancouver's Jack Poole Plaza from Whistler for a consumer show in front of the 2010 Winter Olympics cauldron. Unfortunately, the sunny weather that had followed the 18-vehicle fleet north to Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton the previous two days, ended abruptly with a downpour just as the wrap-up ceremonies in the downtown plaza were about to begin.

Before the rain arrived, however, the 18 AJAC journalists/drivers were able to enjoy a stopover at the new Sea-to-Sky Gondola attraction in Squamish, where they were given a media preview, climbing 885 metres above the Howard Sound fjord for a spectacular view. The attraction, expected to attract 200,000 visitors annually, officially opens May 16.

While EcoRun is not a race, it did include an internal competition among the journalists to determine who was the most fuel-efficient driver. The coveted EcoRun Green Jersey Award was won by veteran AJAC journalist Jim Kenzie, who led the field through all three days of driving. Kenzie edged out colleagues Ted Laturnus and Charles Renny.

The AJAC EcoRun is intended to showcase the latest advances in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions being offered to consumers, as well as demonstrating ways Canadians can reduce their vehicle fuel costs by modifying their driving habits. Twelve of Canada's leading automotive manufacturers contributed to this year's fleet, which included pure EVs, plug-in and conventional hybrids and high-efficiency gas- and diesel-fuelled internal combustion powertrains. The entries were 2014 and 2015 model-year compacts and subcompacts, family sedans and crossovers, even a premium sports sedan and a pickup truck and they were being driven by 18 AJAC journalists from across Canada who had undertaken special training in eco-driving techniques. Through their numerous media outlets across the country, they will be sharing their experiences as they report on EcoRun and the more fuel-efficient ways to drive vehicles and help Canadians reduce the pain at the pumps.

Each vehicle participating in EcoRun was fitted with a special monitoring device developed by Cross Chasm, which recorded fuel consumption, as well as the driving techniques of the driver. The results reflect fuel consumption in real-world driving conditions and that data will be posted on the AJAC website (www.ajac.ca) so consumers can compare those results and make informed decisions when deciding on their next vehicle purchase, whether it's a small car, a typical family sedan, or even a light duty truck.

The AJAC EcoRun can only exist with the support of its partners, including Natural Resources Canada, which has been a key part of EcoRun since the event's inception, and the CAA National office, which has also supported the event since Day One. The New Car Dealers Association of BC also provided significant support, along with the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish. The AJAC EcoRun committee also wishes to acknowledge the support provided by BC Hydro, Cross Chasm, Stantec, Pemberton Lodge and Sun Country Highway.

Here's the list of vehicles that participated in this year's AJAC EcoRun:

2014 MINI Cooper

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

2014 Ford CMAX Energi

2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

2015 Cadillac ELR

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel                              

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

2014 Hyundai Elantra

Kia Optima Hybrid

2014 Mazda3 2.0L

2015 Mazda6 i-ELOOP

2014 Mercedes-Benz GL 350 4MATIC BlueTEC

2014 Mercedes-Benz E 250 4MATIC BlueTEC Sedan

2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV + Tech

2014 Nissan Leaf SL

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

2015 Volvo XC60 Drive-E

SOURCE Automobile Journalists Association of Canada

For further information:

Media updates on EcoRun, plus photos and video, are available on the AJAC website (www.ajac.ca) under the EcoRun tab. For more information, contact Susan Elliott (susan.elliott@elliott-com.com; EcoRun chairman Clare Dear at cdear@sympatico.ca; or Siobhan Duffield at AJAC siobhan@ajac.ca).