2014 AJAC Eco-Run a showcase of fuel efficiency

TORONTO, May 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Eighteen new vehicles representing the latest in fuel-efficient technologies are set to start the third annual Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Eco-Run Tuesday (May 6) from Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver. The three-day run to Whistler and Pemberton - and back to Vancouver (on Thursday) - showcases the latest advances in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions being offered in today's marketplace. This year, there's an eclectic range of vehicles participating, including pure electrics, plug-in and conventional hybrids and high-efficiency gas- and diesel-fuelled internal combustion powertrains. The Eco-Run fleet, with 12 manufacturers represented, includes 2014 and 2015 model-year compacts and subcompacts, family sedans and crossovers, even a premium sports sedan and a pickup truck.

The AJAC Eco-Run, which completed a course through Southwestern Ontario in its inaugural year and followed a route from Ottawa to Montreal last year, is not a race or a competition - no winner will be declared. The event, however, does have two important purposes - to help consumers become more aware of the latest fuel-efficient and emission-reducing technologies being offered by automakers, and to demonstrate to Canadians more fuel-efficient ways to drive their own vehicles and reduce their pain at the pumps.

AJAC members from across Canada, who've taken specific training in eco-driving techniques, will drive the vehicles over the three days, with each vehicle's fuel consumption monitored throughout the event. Results will subsequently be posted on the AJAC website (www.ajac.ca) so consumers can see how vehicles in various categories and with various powertrains perform in typical, everyday driving. With this information, they can then 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 other goal of Eco-Run - helping consumers learn to drive in a more fuel-efficient manner - will be highlighted as the AJAC drivers interact with the public at various stops along the route, including the official launch ceremonies Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at Jack Poole Plaza, and during a special show Thursday, 1-5 p.m., back in the same plaza. In addition to a display of the Eco-Run vehicles, a driving simulator will be available to help the public hone their eco-driving skills with the help of AJAC members. The New Car Dealers Association of BC will also present a showcase of fuel-efficient vehicles and the public is invited to put their just-completed eco-driving training to the test in a ride-and-drive opportunity on downtown Vancouver streets.

In addition to the kick-off media conference Tuesday in Vancouver, as well as the finale on Thursday, special media events will also be held in Squamish at noon at the West Coast Heritage Railway Park and Wednesday, 9:15 a.m., at the Olympic Plaza in Whistler. The public is invited to join us at all these events

The AJAC Eco-Run can only exist with the support of its partners, including Natural Resources Canada, which has been a key part of Eco-Run 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 is also providing significant support, along with the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish. The AJAC Eco-Run committee also wishes to acknowledge the support provided by BC Hydro, Cross Chasm, Stantec and Sun Country Highway.

Here's the list of vehicles participating in this year's AJAC Eco-Run:

BMW - 2014 MINI Cooper
Chrysler - 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
Ford - 2014 CMAX Energi         
  - 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
General Motors - 2015 Cadillac ELR                              
  - 2014 Chevrolet Cruze EcoDiesel                              
Honda - 2014 Accord Hybrid
Hyundai - 2014 Elantra
Kia - Optima Hybrid
Mazda - 2014 Mazda3 2.0L             
  - 2015 Mazda6 i-ELOOP
Mercedes-Benz - 2014 GL 350 4MATIC BlueTEC                             
  - 2014 E 250 4MATIC BlueTEC Sedan                        
Mitsubishi - 2014 i-MiEV
Nissan - 2014 Altima 2.5 SV + Tech             
  - 2014 Leaf SL
Porsche - 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid
Volvo - 2015 Volvo XC60 Drive-E
  - electric/plug-in

SOURCE: Automobile Journalists Association of Canada

For further information:

Susan Elliott susan.elliott@elliott-com.com 905-833-0826
Eco-Run chairman Clare Dear at cdear@sympatico.ca;
or Siobhan Duffield at AJAC siobhan@ajac.ca.


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