Real world fuel efficiency at EcoRun
Christopher Lacroix

Christopher Lacroix is a Communications specialist at the Canadian Fuels Association.

Freelance automotive journalist Wade Ozeroff parks
a lipstick red Mazda CX-3 outside a chicken coop
on Snider Mountain in New Brunswick…

It’s a pit stop, of sorts. He’s competing in the annual EcoRun, an event organized by the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). It’s a two-day driving competition in which automotive journalists drive to test the real-world efficiency of gasoline, diesel, hybrid, electric and fuel-cell powered vehicles.

The driver with the best efficiency score across all tested vehicles is declared the winner, taking home the ‘The Green Jersey’, sponsored by the Canadian Fuels Association. Last year, Ozeroff earned the honours and set out for a hopeful repeat performance.

The objective of EcoRun is to best Natural Resources Canada’s official fuel consumption figures by the widest margin. During the event, competitors drove through cities, on highways, dirt roads and routes of all kinds, rotating vehicles. This year, the route was Moncton to Saint John to Fredericton. Gasoline, diesel, hybrid-electric, fully electric, and fuel-cell cars were all part of the event.

Bill Simpkins, Jim Kerr, and David Miller

From left, Bill Simpkins, Director Stakeholder Relations, Canadian Fuels Association; Jim Kerr, Automotive Writer; David Miller, Co-Chair, AJAC EcoRun

Cathy Rogers

Cathy Rogers, New Brunswick Finance Minister, waves the green flag, marking the beginning of AJAC EcoRun 2018

Mercedez-Benz GLC 350e

Mercedez-Benz GLC 350e at Pocologan, N.B.

That array of technologies featured at EcoRun is not proportional to the actual fleet on Canadian streets. In fact, 98 percent of drivers still choose gas vehicles. They’re affordable, convenient and reliable. “Honda believes the consumer should be picking the technology he feels is the best,” Salil Kapoor, Lead for Alternative Fuel Maintenance at Honda Canada tells the Canadian Fuels Association. “That is why right now we offer one of the best gasoline engines in the world.”

At the checkered flag, stringer Jim Kerr is the winner, besting the listed mileage by leaps and bounds—and the car with the greatest improvement, Mazda 6, beats the official listing by 2.7L/100km at 5.3L/100km, with its internal-combustion engine.

Let’s face it, everyone wants to save fuel, save money and lower emissions. The EcoRun challenge showcases this, and the existing and new technologies that move us now and in the years to come. 

Vehicle performance at EcoRun

Table representing vehicle performance at EcoRun