GFEI completes leading low energy challenge 


The Global Fuel Economy Initiative has completed the RAC Future Car Challenge, a leading low energy driving event. The GFEI also used the event to talk to members of the public in London on fuel economy issues.

The GFEI sponsored and participated in the third annual Future Car Challenge, which took place on 3 November 2012. FIA Foundation Chairman Tim Keown drove the GFEI entry, with FIA Foundation Deputy Director General Saul Billingsley joining him as co-driver.

The GFEI does not back any manufacturer or technology and enters the event as a fully independent participant. The GFEI has entered different cars from different manufacturers each year that it has taken part in the Future Car Challenge. This year, the GFEI entered a KIA Rio 1.1 CRDI ‘1’ Eco.

Full official results will be available later in November, but the car used 3 litres of fuel on the 63 mile journey from Brighton to London.  The impression from the FIA Foundation’s GFEI participants was that the Kia Rio achieved a good fuel economy, the car’s own monitoring equipment showing an average of around 80mpg on the drive.

FIA Foundation Deputy Director General Saul Billingsley said: “The Kia Rio was a comfortable ride, provided excellent fuel economy and showed that it is possible, right now, to buy a practical, safe and fuel efficient small family car. There were a lot of impressive technologies being demonstrated in the Future Car Challenge, but we felt that the GFEI team car, the Rio, was particularly strong because it shows that current, conventional combustion engines can provide affordable and realistic solutions.”

With the global car fleet predicted to triple by 2050, the GFEI looks at ways to reconcile legitimate aspirations for mobility with an ambitious reduction in CO2 emissions from cars worldwide amid a tough global economic outlook.

Maximising fuel efficiency in the on-road vehicle fleet globally is essential. The GFEI has shown that just by using existing cost effective technologies in all vehicles we could halve CO2 emissions from the global fleet by 2050. The GFEI has been entering the Future Car Challenge for the last three years as it provides an interesting exercise in comparing on-road performance over the Brighton-London route, with manufacturers’ claims on fuel economy.

The event has also provided a useful opportunity for the GFEI to discuss fuel economy issues with the public in central London. The GFEI stand at the motor show proved popular with visitors, with fuel economy information packs handed out to the public gathering in Regent Street for the post event motor show during the afternoon of 3rd November.

This year the number of awards categories for the FCC had been increased for production vehicles and prototype vehicles and included most energy efficient vehicles by size and type (saloon, sports car, light commercial vehicle etc.) best electric, extended range, hybrid, hydrogen and internal combustion engine vehicles. The GFEI sponsored the internal combustion engine category which was won by BMW.

Other participants in the event ranged from enthusiasts and independents driving their own vehicles to major car manufacturers including Renault, Mercedes-Benz, Vauxhall, and Jaguar Land Rover. Many of the vehicles, such as the Vauxhall HydroGen4, Jaguar XJ_e PHEV and Renault ZOE will not be on sale for two or more years or have rarely been seen on UK roads.

For more information about the RAC Future Car Challenge, please visit