Van fleet operators urged to join MPG Challenge

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Fleet operators with vans powered by diesel, petrol or hybrid engines have the chance to show they can get the best economy out of their vehicles in a marathon challenge.

The MPG Marathon takes place in October to highlight how frugal some engines can be when the driver is careful.

The event covers a course in the Cotswolds and Brecon Beacons and, for the first time, includes entrants with electric vehicles.

Electric vans for the MPG Challenge

However, teams who enter an electric vehicle will have to be extra careful since their route will have to include recharging points. Judges will also calculate the vehicle’s running costs on recharging plus the actual petrol or diesel hybrid fuel used.

Ross Durkin, the event organiser, said: “The MPG Marathon will showcase the latest developments for vehicles with alternative fuels, including plug-in hybrids, range extenders and electric vehicles, for the first time.

“Drivers of electric vehicles will have to their recharging stops carefully to ensure their vehicle is fully charged.”

He added that this careful planning would replicate the ‘real life’ driving issues that growing numbers of van and fleet drivers in electric vehicles have to carry out every day.

Van drivers urged to join the eco-drive

This is the 14th year that the MPG challenge has taken place and entrants have to implement their eco-driving skills and plan their routes carefully.

Fleet managers and management companies, fleet service representatives as well as contract hire companies, indeed anyone connected to the motor industry, is allowed to take part.

Previously the event has attracted celebs, senior motor industry figures, journalists and academics among the ranks of drivers who get behind the wheel of a van or car to earn their living.

Last year a team from Leicestershire County Council in a Ford Fiesta ECOnetic 1.6 diesel were judged the winners by racking up an average 88.69mpg along the 339 miles long route.

Van class for the MPG Challenge

The classes for light commercial vehicles, which are not restricted by the amount of CO2 they produce, are as follows: light vans and car-derived vans – GVW of less than 2001kg; small vans – GVW between 2001kg and 2600kg; medium vans – GVW between 2601kg and 2800kg; medium vans – GVW between 2801kg and 3499kg and then there are large vans – GVW of 3500kg.

And there is, of course, the all-electric category which could include vans such as the impressive Nissan eNV200.

For more information, visit the MPG Marathon website or call 01727 739160.