Brighton-to-London Eco-Run set to go

Demonstration of fuel-efficient vehicles and technologies will visit southern-Ontario communities

Published: May 7, 2012, 3:00 PM

A caravan of vehicles encompassing a broad range of fuel-efficient and fuel-alternative technologies is set to leave Brighton (Ontario) tomorrow morning (May 8), en route to London (Ontario).

Dubbed the Brighton-to-London Eco-Run, its purpose is to demonstrate to the public that, in this day of ever-increasing gasoline prices, automakers offer a broad choice of fuel-efficient technologies that can help ease that burden.

And, just as important, that how you drive your vehicle, whatever is, plays a major role in how much energy, whatever type it uses, it will consume.

With gasoline prices at near-record highs, fuel-efficiency is top-of-mind for many car-buyers these days. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to that challenge. What may be best for one buyer's set of needs may be wholly unsuitable for another's.

Rather, there is a kaleidoscope of technologies that can play a part. Some work together, others stand alone, but all can help you reduce your fuel consumption. And most of them are available in some form today.

That's the primary message of the Brighton-to-London Eco-Run, says Beth Rhind, Executive Manager of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), which organized the event, in partnership with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), and Schneider Electric.

Billed as a fuel-efficiency demonstration, "bringing fuel-efficient technologies to your community," it is in effect a mobile auto show, highlighting many fuel-efficient technology choices available.

Much media attention is focused on electric vehicles (EVs) these days, and there will be EVs in the mix of participants. But there are many other alternatives as well – everything from hybrids and diesels to various advanced gasoline engine technologies – ant they will all be taking part.

In fact, most of the vehicles and technologies that were featured in the Eco-Drive exhibit at the 2012 Canadian International Auto Show, in Toronto, will also be participating in the Eco-Run.

In total, 23 cars are scheduled to take make the trek, driven by AJAC-member journalists, including Autofile contributors Clare Dear (whois also president of AJAC) and myself.

As the name implies, the rally-style event begins in Brighton, Ontario, about 150 km east of Toronto, and ends in London, about the same distance to the west.

The event's concept is based loosely on England’s historic London-to-Brighton run for vintage cars, and a more recent Brighton-to London reverse- run for "green" cars, held in that country.

The vehicles will not be competing with each other but energy usage will be monitored and reported by NRCan to demonstrate the fuel efficiencies attainable with the various technologies in real-world operation.

The journalist drivers, however will be challenged to meet or beat the official NRCan fuel-consumption ratings for the individual vehicles they are driving, thus demonstrating that driving style can be as important as technology.

The entourage will make stops en-route in Cobourg, Oshawa, Scarborough, Toronto, Oakville, Hamilton and Woodstock and will visit several sites that are making their own contributions to the science and technology of fuel efficiency.

We'll keep you posted on the progress of the event and the stories emanating from those visits as it proceeds. You can also learn more about the event at