WHISTLER, BC, May 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Day One of the third annual Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) EcoRun has concluded with all 18 entries arriving in this former Winter Olympics venue after being waved off with the green flag by Ian Jack of the CAA National Office earlier in the day at the Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver. The fleet of 18 vehicles, including two pure electric cars, covered the distance without issue. In fact, the EVs had battery power to spare after the challenging terrain encountered on the Sea-to-Sky Highway.
The day's run demonstrated the capabilities of the impressive infrastructure system being developed in B.C. to support EVs. For example, during a lunch stop in Squamish, the EVs and plug-in hybrids in the fleet were recharged while the AJAC journalists were guests of the West Coast Railway Heritage Museum. Local dignitaries, including the mayor of Squamish and several councillors, as well as representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and several area tourist attractions welcomed the EcoRun tour, while a member of the Squamish First Nation gave a traditional blessing on the group - certainly a unique experience for the journalists. Interestingly, the town recently installed a high-powered Level Three charging unit, which was able to bring the batteries of the EVs back up to charge in less than 90 minutes. Such advanced facilities will make longer distance travel with EVs a more practical endeavour.
The EcoRun tour will spend the night in Whistler before attending a media conference at the Whistler Olympic Plaza Wednesday morning. Then it's back on the road, heading for Pemberton, where the vehicles will be subjected to dynamic evaluations at the Pemberton airport.
The three-day EcoRun showcases the latest advances in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions being offered in today's marketplace. The fleet of participating vehicles includes the pure EVs, plug-in and conventional hybrids and high-efficiency gas- and diesel-fuelled internal combustion powertrains. The entries include 2014 and 2015 model-year compacts and subcompacts, family sedans and crossovers, even a premium sports sedan and a pickup truck. Twelve automobile manufacturers are participating in the event, with the vehicles driven by 18 AJAC journalists from across Canada who have undertaken special training in eco-driving techniques. They are sharing their expertise with consumers as they demonstrate to Canadians more fuel-efficient ways to drive their own vehicles and reduce their pain at the pumps.
In addition, each vehicle has been fitted with a special monitoring device that records the vehicle's fuel consumption, as well as the driving techniques of the driver. The results reflect fuel consumption in real-world driving conditions and that data along with photos and video will subsequently 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.
Here's the list of vehicles participating 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 EcoDiesel
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
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