Honda drivers win 2014 MPG Marathon title in photo-finish as electric vehicles compete equally using less energy and no pollution

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Jerry Clist, maintenance controller at ALD Automotive(left) and co-driver Peter Thompson

The electric vehicles taking part in this year’s MPG Marathon demonstrated how cost effective and reliable they were by completing the course in virtually the same time as their competitors – but by using less energy and with no pollution.

Three electric vehicles took part for the first time in the 23-team eco-driving event, which was again sponsored by ALD Automotive and TRACKER and was won by Honda engineers Fergal McGrath and James Warren, driving a Honda Civic Tourer and recording an outstanding 97.92mpg.

The electric vehicles taking part, two Nissan LEAFs and a Renault ZOE, attempted the same two-day course as the line-up of conventionally-powered diesel and petrol cars and light commercial vehicles.

Like their competitors, they had to stop at set checkpoints en route, but were allowed to take scheduled rest time at recharging stops. This meant that careful route planning was essential to avoid range anxiety and ensure they had enough power to complete the course.

Ultimately it was a very close run thing and there was a photo-finish for first place with all three electric vehicles producing very similar results in terms of overall energy usage.

However, by a short head, the overall winner of the inaugural electric vehicle section was Jerry Clist, maintenance controller at ALD Automotive and co-driver Peter Thompson.

Driving a Nissan LEAF Acenta equipped with the upgraded 6.6kW on-board charger, Clist and Thompson recorded the highest economy at 5.0 miles per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed, and using the least energy overall at 68.9kwh for the 344 miles that they drove.

With the equivalent of 11kWh of energy in one litre of diesel, their performance equated to an astonishing 249mpg in a comparable diesel car, at a cost of just 2.6p per mile.

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