The Prime Minister has today praised the MPG Marathon as an important event for the economy and the environment.
David Cameron was talking at the end of his party’s conference in Birmingham and just a few days after a penny was added in duty to a litre of fuel.
He praised both the organisers and competitors who drove through his Witney constituency last month as part of the two-day, 400-mile eco-endurance challenge to demonstrate that the UK’s 30 million drivers can all help reduce their motoring costs and their carbon footprint.
“Congratulations to all those involved in the 2010 MPG Marathon challenge. This is a fantastic event in an important industry that is vital to the future of our economy and environment.”
His comments are a ringing endorsement to the event organiser Ross Durkin and the overall winning driver Mick Linford who, with the assistance of co-driver Ella Flynn achieved an amazing 94.66 MPG in the SMART Fortwo CDI Coupe Plus, although this fell short of his success in 2009 when he achieved 96.81 mpg from a SMART CDI Passion.
Coming ahead of the George Osborne’s 2.5% VAT increase in January, the event, now in its eighth year, is further proof that any driver can put the manufacturer’s own estimates of fuel consumption to the test – and win.
Ross Durkin said: “The Prime Minister’s words are welcome and timely for the hard work that goes into organising this event, which has a strong educational and the environmental message – that ‘smarter driving’ can save the pennies, pounds and the planet if everyone does it.”
“As of last week motoring became even more expensive and in January it will go up again with the 2.5% increase in VAT which will add an average £1.50 every time you fill up a tank of fuel. What better endorsement is there for the message of eco-driving?”
Of the 35 vehicles taking part in the MPG Marathon, only six were petrol driven, one of which was the Volkswagen Golf GTI DSG which secured the best percentage improvement over Volkwagen’s published fuel consumption figures for the combined cycle.
Not a vehicle normally associated with frugal fuel consumption, the GTI, driven by David Madgwick and Ashleigh White achieved 55.63 mpg, a staggering 45.62% improvement over the manufacturer’s 38.20 combined mpg figure.
Volkswagen was also the runner up in the best ‘overall MPG’ category with the Polo 1.2 BlueMotion driven by Andrew Andersz and Alyson Marlow, claiming a very respectable 89.22 mpg, an 8.52% improvement on the manufacturer’s 80.70 combined mpg figure.
Of the 18 manufacturers that agreed to publicly have a variety of their hatchbacks, saloons, estates and commercial vehicles put through their paces, a total of six vehicles secured more than 80 miles per gallon over the gruelling A and B roads as well as the motorways of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Vans, or light commercial vehicles, were not to be outdone and proved what could be achieved if driven more thoughtfully. The LCV entries were also measured on percentage improvement.
Commercial vehicle drivers in the ALD Automotive/TOTAL ECO 10 MPG Marathon clearly demonstrated the potential for fuel savings that can be achieved through skilful eco-driving.
Eight vans took part in the event that included wind and rain through urban centres, along motorways and country roads and presenting competitors with the sternest possible test of their driving skills.
The overall commercial vehicle MPG winners were John Kendall and Paul Nieuwenhuis who secured a staggering 81.93 mpg in a Citroen Nemo van. With an astonishing 58.66 mpg compared to the manufacturer’s calculation of 38.20, the Renault Trafic SL29 2.0 dCi 115, driven by Steve Johnson and Steve Hayworth, secured an impressive 53.55% improvement. The victory sets a new benchmark by which other vans’ productivity can be measured. In addition, the Fiat Doblo Multijet SX Cargo, secured the competition’s TomTom WORK Safety Award.
Supported by The Energy Saving Trust, the objective of the MPG Marathon is to promote eco-driving for all motorists to save lives, money and reduce a motorist’s overall carbon footprint. Two years ago the Government changed the company car tax regime to reward vehicles with a sub-120 CO2 grammes per kilometre.
This is becoming increasingly important in the commercial world where businesses run large fleets of company cars and vans. Here, reducing costs, wear and tear on the vehicles and improving fuel efficiency add to the business bottom line as well as helping fleet managers meet their health and safety obligations. In the future, the growing importance of telematics will add to this mix to help control overall business costs.
RoadSafe, the UK’s leading Forum for promoting road safety and reducing deaths and injuries on the roads once again joined forces with the 2010 MPG Marathon team to promote the Safer Driving for Better Business message.
The event highlighted the increasing significance of eco-driving and how it will importantly deliver business value for money and play a leading role in reducing CO2 emissions as climate change leads to behaviour change.
ALD Automotive marketing director, David Yates, said: “Although we are seemingly coming out of recession we face tough challenges next year with the VAT increase in January. It is therefore more important than ever to drive better behaviour behind the wheel to deliver safety and value. After vehicle depreciation, fuel bills are the biggest cost facing every fleet manager. Reducing them is not only financially beneficial to business but also cuts risk and emissions.”
Steven Crouch, TOTAL UK,commented: “Once again, the ALD Automotive/Total ECO 10 MPG Marathon has showcased how clever driving and advanced fuels and lubricants can work together to have a big impact on fuel economy. We were very impressed with the winner’s results, especially given the windy conditions, and hope that this is a real eye opener in terms of demonstrating how simple changes in driving style can improve fuel consumption and minimise environmental impact.”
Car and LCV manufacturers taking part in the 2010 MPG Marathon were: Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Jaguar, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, SEAT, SMART, Suzuki, Toyota, Vauxhall, and VW.
ALD Automotive is one of the UK’s leading providers of vehicle funding and management solutions and manages over 50,000 vehicles. The ALD Automotive group is also the 2nd largest vehicle leasing operation in Europe and manages over one million vehicles across 40 countries worldwide. As such we are, once again, delighted to organise the 2010 MPG Marathon.
The event has proved to be an ideal fit with our own business strategy as it focuses on cost reduction, health and safety and environmental issues. These are the core issues at the forefront of our own and our customers’ thinking. Our support reflects the great importance we place on safer, smarter driving and our award winning risk management solutions – for company car drivers and the grey fleet alike – such as DriveSafe, ProFleet2 in-vehicle telematics and CARbon Offset are testimony to this.
We’d like to pay a special tribute to the hard work put in by all the participants over the last three years in achieving such outstanding results and in helping to make the event such a success. The level of interest has been amazing and it’s clear the MPG Marathon has gained a momentum of its own and is set to remain a key feature of the fleet motoring calendar.
TOTAL ECO 10
TOTAL ECO 10 is a free programme that challenges motorists to make simple practical changes when driving, to help their pockets and benefit the environment. By practising the four simple TOTAL ECO 10 acts, UK drivers can expect to make a 10 per cent reduction in fuel consumption, saving at least 400 kilograms of CO2 a year each. The four TOTAL ECO 10 acts include:
- Using advanced fuels, such as TOTAL Excellium, which reduce fuel consumption by 4%
- Using fuel economy lubricants, such as TOTAL INEO Quartz, which reduce fuel consumption by 3%
- Ensuring your vehicle is well maintain, which reduce fuel consumption by 2%
- Making sure you have the correct tyre pressure, which reduce fuel consumption by 1%.
AA Business Services
The organisation is keen to raise awareness of how risk assessment and practical driver training, which includes fuel efficiency training, can help businesses to save money through reduced fuel consumption as well as improved driver safety. AA Business Services will also be ensuring the integrity of the event by lending logistical and scrutinizing support through its Fuel Assist service.
The Energy Saving Trust
One of the UK’s leading organisations working in the field to limit the effects of climate change. Its primary aim is to reduce UK carbon dioxide emissions by promoting the sustainable and efficient use of energy.
The Energy Saving Trust runs a programme that delivers short-duration smarter driving lessons for organisations’ employees, including their fleet drivers. Each lesson lasts just under an hour but, even in this short time, drivers are able to reduce their fuel consumption by an average of more than 15%. The cost of the training is subsidised, giving typical payback times for vehicle operators of just 5 to 6 weeks through lower fuel costs.
EST is delighted to support the MPG Marathon as a vital part of raising awareness of smarter driving techniques.
The tyre sponsor for the 2010 MPG Marathon. The company has a strong pedigree in the fleet market and has extensive links with the contract hire and fleet management sectors, as well as end-user fleets. Michelin’s fuel-saving ‘Energy Saver’ tyres were fitted to a number of the vehicles taking part in the 2010 MPG Marathon, providing them with improved fuel consumption through the tyres’ lower rolling resistance.
RoadSafe is acknowledged as a leading forum for promoting and devising solutions to road safety problems. Its mission is to reduce road deaths and injuries through building partnerships between the motor industry and related companies, traffic engineers, the police and road safety professionals, promoting the safe design and use of vehicles and roads and encouraging education and innovation.
TomTom Business Solutions, the B2B division of TomTom NV, provides businesses with easy to use and innovative solutions for the management and control of vehicle fleets of any size. TomTom WORK focuses on connected navigation: a smart combination of navigation, two-way communication, tracking & tracing, order management and reporting. Included in the TomTom offering is TomTom WEBFLEET, a market-leading online fleet management service accessible 24 hours a day from any Internet-enabled PC. TomTom Business Solutionsis currently making a difference to the bottom line of many companies across Europe and the US.
Further information can be obtained from: http://www.tomtomwork.com
Smarter Driving Tips
The challenge is to first measure your MPG – either by checking your car’s on-board computer or the manufacturer’s manual – and see if you can improve upon it by:
- Changing up through the gears at between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm
- Ease your speed. Driving at 70mph uses around 15 per cent more fuel than at 50mph
- Anticipate to avoid unnecessary acceleration and braking
- Use air conditioning sparingly as it greatly increases fuel consumption
- Switch off the engine whenever safe to do so
- Check tyre pressures regularly
- Remove unnecessary weight from your car
- Reduce aerodynamic drag whenever possible, e.g. by removing roof racks when not in use.