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.”