Every year in the UK, the MPG Marathon pits hundreds of drivers and navigators against each other to see who can drive from start to finish using the least amount of fuel. Last year, the contest allowed electric cars to compete for the first time. For the 2015 MPG Marathon, the organizer again included electric cars and they performed admirably.
Jerry Clist drove his BMW i3 REx and covered 408.24 miles. He used 78.19 kilowatt-hours of electricity and only 3.04 liters of gasoline, making his overall energy consumption equivalent to 105.6 kWh. Electricity cost him about $17.00 for the trip. Add in another $5,00 for gas and his total cost was around 5 cents a mile. Compared to a diesel powered car, Clist’s average fuel economy calculated out to be an astonishing 193.4 mpg.
Sam Young and Chris Lilly drove the second electric in the competition — a Kia Soul EV, They completed the course in a total of 370.96 miles and used 139.7 kWh of electricity, which equated to an energy cost of $25.00 over the two days – the equivalent of 8 cents per mile. Their diesel equivalent mileage worked out to be a very respectable 132.8 mpg. As with the i3, the Soul was able to use public charging points which in many cases provide the electricity free of charge.
For fossil fuel cars, the overall winners were Mick Linford and Jemma Champion, who achieved 104.50 mpg overall in a Peugeot 208 Active Blue HDi.That worked out to an average fuel cost of about 8 cents per mile, the same as the Soul EV.
This year’s MPG Marathon covered a total of 380 miles through Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, and Hampshire. Contestants were free to plan their own routes, provided they included a number of agreed, fixed points, which made good navigational skills essential. For the electric car entrants, that made planning their recharging stops carefully as well.
All participating vehicles were fitted with TRACKER tracking equipment, so that event organizers knew exactly where each car was at all times and how far it had traveled. Organizer Jerry Ramsdale confirmed that next year’s event would take place in September 2016, and said that the success of the electric vehicles taking part had fully vindicated their inclusion again this year.