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> Friday, June 1st, 2012 > News > Fanshawe last stop for Eco-Run
Fanshawe last stop for Eco-Run
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Stuart Gooden
Published: Friday, June 1st, 2012
The Brighton to London Eco- Run crossed the final checkpoint at Fanshawe College on May 10 at the Centre for Applied Transportation Technologies (CATT) building. The cross- Ontario trek included stops at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Centennial College and McMaster University.
Powered by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), Schneider Electric, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) and Natural Resources Canada, the 350-kilometre campaign showed Ontario the importance of environmentally friendly driving. About 20 cars dubbed “fuel-efficient” by AJAC, such as the Nissan Leaf and Porsche Panamera Hybrid, were showcased for viewing.
Rob Gorrie, Fanshawe’s chair of Transportation Technology, said the Eco-Run benefits Fanshawe as “it’s good exposure for the students to see ... what CAA is doing and also the Automobile Journalists Association (of Canada) is doing as far as educating the public and how the students fit into that equation. And these students will be graduating and working on these vehicles with this technology in not too long a time.”
The year-old Centre for Applied Transportation Technologies, which received $15.9 million in grants from the government, is home to a number of automotive, aviation and motive power programs. The 148,000 square-foot building also features a green roof.
AJAC president Clare Dear was present, and he explained the importance of fuel-efficiency in cars and what people can do to improve their vehicles’ gas emissions. He noted that although newer cars are built to be more economical, there are ways that people can improve the efficiency of a current vehicle. “By simply changing your driving habits, what a dramatic increase it made in fuel efficiency,” Dear stated. “Smoothness; keeping a steady speed as opposed to speeding up and then having to slow down … staying the speed limit, which no one does, but it makes a huge difference.”
Dear also stressed the importance of proper vehicle maintenance. “If you (have) dirty air filters,” he said, “and things that impact the efficiency of the vehicle, people tend to let it go. Tire pressure (has a) huge impact; everybody can keep an eye on their tire pressure ... These are things that you can do regardless whether you’ve got an old car or new car.”
Dear added that because fuel efficiency is becoming increasingly important to people, car manufacturers are meeting demands with excellent “green” technology. “Things that are just coming in now like direct fuel injection; getting into the turbo charger aspect of it, where you can get V8 performance out of a four-cylinder simply by adding a turbo charger and some other tweaks to it, those sorts of things that even five years ago we weren’t really doing.”
But private industry isn’t the only one trying to help save the environment. Politicians were present at the press conference and explained the role the government is taking to educate the public. Ed Holder, MP of London West, is also a member of the Committee of Transport and Infrastructure, and he introduced the government’s latest plan to educate the public on fuel efficiency: a new version of the Auto$mart Driver’s Education Kit, which includes a student workbook, video and CD-ROM. Auto$mart is a program used by driving instructors all across Canada that teaches Canadians about safe, fuel-efficient driving practices to help decrease fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions.