I had the best time this week working in Vancouver at the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) EcoRun.
For those of you who are not familiar with the EcoRun it’s an annual event sponsored by Natural Resources Canada, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), Fleetcarma, the New Car Dealers Association of BC, the BC Clean Energy Vehicle program and the Canadian Fuels Association. The two-day event showcased a variety of eco-friendly vehicles and fuel efficient technologies.
This year is the fourth year the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada has hosted the EcoRun and it kicked off with a media conference on Wednesday, March 25th at the Vancouver International Auto Show; followed by a stunning two-day drive from Vancouver to Nanaimo, via BC Ferry, then south to Victoria and returning by ferry to the mainland and back to Vancouver on Thursday evening.
Despite its name the EcoRun was not a race or competition of any kind rather, it was a demonstration of the most eco-friendly and fuel efficient vehicles that are currently available to consumers. Twenty vehicles participated ranging from subcompacts, compacts, family sedans, sport utility vehicles, sport coupes to pickups capabilities. I’ve included a list of the vehicles at the end of this post.
OK…so if wasn’t a race how did this EcoRun work? Well, all of the vehicles were driven by members of the AJAC. The journalists drove ‘real roads,’ the same roads and terrain that BC drivers typically face. The route was divided into more than six driving legs with the 20 journalists randomly swapping vehicles at each leg—the reason for doing this was to give the drivers a chance to drive a variety of vehicles, as well as, the driver’s fuel efficient driving techniques had to change according to vehicle…good to keep things interesting for our drivers! And, how was the fuel efficiency calculated? In real-time all of the vehicles and their drivers were continuously monitored—all of the data was collected by Fleetcarma.
But it wasn’t all driving for our journalists, to stretch their legs we had arranged for them to visit various sites in BC; so in actuality, it wasn’t just the cars that were being showcased—BC has some really interesting places to visit. Some of the highlights included the City of Totems in Duncan, Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre, BC Forest Discovery Centre and a walking tour in Steveston Village. If you ever get a chance to visit any of these locations I highly recommend it
Besides seeing all these great new vehicles cruising along the picturesque BC roadways or parked in front of historical landmarks like the Victoria Parliament Buildings, I think what makes this event so exciting is that the EcoRun lets consumers know there are alternative options for them when they’re looking for a new vehicle. If you’re interested, the results of the EcoRun are posted on the AJAC website www.ajac.ca
Now, you might be wondering what kept me and my team busy leading up to and during the two-day event. We were fortunate to work with Co-chairs Clare Dear and David Miller on the EcoDrive route design so I can say and, I’m sure Clare and David will agree—we’re all very well acquainted with the BC roadways! My team also did sponsorship activation, ensured that all of the vehicles were in top form as well as overall event logistics. Between press conferences, all the driving, vehicle maintenance and media activities…there was a lot going on! But it’s such a great event to be involved in and we’ve been lucky to have been a part of it every year since its inception.
With the EcoRun completed I’m looking forward to heading back home to Ontario—even though the weather isn’t quite as balmy there as it is in Vancouver! But I can deal with the weather because I just got the nicest message from Charles Renny, the President of AJAC so I’ll be smiling all the way home!
Wow and thank you for everything you have done for EcoRun and for AJAC. I have watched how well you get things done from both sides of the equation and you never cease to amaze me! Without your experience and guidance AJAC would have great trouble in holding EcoRun.
I don’t see you as often as I would like and that is as much because we have different jobs as I tend to not interfere with those who can go out and get the job done. The last thing you or the event manager need is someone looking over your shoulders to see if the soup is hot or if the cars are clean!
In short: Thank You for making this event a success.
The 2015 EcoRun Vehicles
- 2015 BMW X3 xDrive 28d, 2.0L 4-cyl td 8 spd A
- 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel
- 2015 Ford Focus 1.0-litre
- 2015 Ford F-150 2.7-litre
- 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
- 2015 Chevrolet Volt
- 2015 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel
- 2015 Chevrolet Colorado (manual)
- 2015 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid
- 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle
- 2015 Soul EV
- 2015 Mazda3 2.5-litre M/T
- 2016 Mazda6 GT i-Eloop
- 2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD
- 2015 Nissan Leaf SL
- 2015 Nissan Micra S (manual)
- 2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid
- 2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
- 2015 Subaru Legacy
- 2015 Golf TDI Clean Diesel