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AJAC makes a run for it

Auto journalists showcase fuel-efficient technologies

Published: May 4, 2014, 6:00 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 2:38 PM

AJAC Eco-Run 2013

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Writers from the Automobile Journalists' Association of Canada will set out Tuesday in the third annual AJAC Eco-Run, a cross-province showcase of the latest advances in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

The run starts at the Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver and heads for Whistler and Pemberton before returning to Vancouver on Thursday. A range (no pun intended) of electric vehicles will participate this year, including pure electrics, plug-in and conventional hybrids, and high-efficiency gas and diesel-fuelled internal combustion powered vehicles.

Twelve manufacturers are represented, in a variety of 2014 and 2015 models and body-styles, including a premium sports sedan and pickup truck.

The AJAC Eco-Run's first year was in Southwestern Ontario and last year's saw the fleet take a route from Ottawa to Montreal. There's no competition element to the run; it's purely to help consumers become more aware of the latest green technologies and demonstrate the capabilities of more fuel-efficient, cleaner vehicles.

Eighteen members from across Canada who are specifically trained in eco-driving techniques will take the wheel, carefully monitoring each vehicle's fuel consumption throughout the run. Results will be posted to www.ajac.ca so consumers can see how vehicles in various categories with various powertrains perform.

Public interactions at various stops along the route, including the official launch ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, are designed to help consumers learn more efficient driving habits, and a simulator will be available during a special show at Jack Poole Plaza on Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m. The New Car Dealers' Association of B.C. will also present a showcase of fuel efficient vehicles, including ride and drive opportunities on downtown Vancouver streets.

A third event at noon at the West Coast Heritage Railway Park in Squamish is planned, as well as another at 9:15 a.m. at the Olympic Plaza in Whistler on Wednesday. The public is invited to each.

Participating vehicles include the 2014 Mini Cooper, 2014 Ford CMAX Energi, 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, 2015 Cadillac ELR, 2014 Chevy Cruze EcoDiesel, 2014 Honda According Hybrid, 2014 Hyundai Elantra, the Kia Optima Hybrid, 2014 Mazda3 2.0L and 2015 Mazda6 i-ELOOP, Mercedez-Benz 2014 GL 350 4Matic BlueTec and 2014 E 250 4Matic BlueTec sedan, Mitsubishi 2014 i-MIEV, 2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV Tech and Leaf SL, Porsche 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid, 2015 Volvo XC60 Drive-E.