Today was a special day for a group of university students at Polytechnique Montreal as theywho played host to a group of automotive journalists and manufacturers' representatives, who arrived with a fleet of 22 new fuel-efficient vehicles.
They were also joined at the students' downtown Montreal workshop by Formula One driver, Jean-Eric Vergne.
The journalists were taking part in the second-annual AJAC (Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) Eco-Run, which began three days ago in Ottawa and concluded today in Montreal.
Eco-Run's purpose is to demonstrate to consumers a broad array of fuel-efficient technologies and vehicles, currently available to consumers, that can help them save money on fuel as well as reducing their impact on the environment.
The event also demonstrates that driving habits can be just as important as the vehicle when it comes to fuel efficiency.
The technologies spotlighted in the Eco-Run include a full range of powerplants, from pure battery electric, plug-in hybrid and basic gasoline-hybrid combinations to advanced conventional gasoline and diesel engines. They also feature such fuel-saving features as automatic stop-start systems and automatic cruise control.
Proving that fuel-efficient technologies can be found in any size and type of vehicle that may suit one's needs, the Eco-Run fleet covers the range from a smart electric and Ford Focus EV to a Porsche Cayenne Diesel SUV and high-efficiency Ram pickup truck.
Jean-Eric Vergne's visit, courtesy of the FIA – the governing body for motorsport around the world, including this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, focused on the organization's efforts to promote driving safety.
As a second-year Formula One driver, for the Toro Rosso team, 23-year-old Vergne, from France, is a rising star on the F1 circuit, having scored top-ten finishes in two of the season's first six races.
He congratulated the Polytechnique Solar Car team on earning an invitation to compete in Australia next month. signed their car for good luck and presented each of the team members with T-shirts.