Renault and Nissan set for 2014 MPG Marathon

This year’s MPG Marathon is set to feature a strong presence from electric vehicles, including the Renault ZOE and Nissan Leaf.

For the first time, pure electric vehicles will be allowed to compete against range extender models and plug-in hybrids in the 360-mile marathon.

Due to take place on from Wednesday October 8th to Thursday the 9th, this year’s event will take place between the Cotswolds and Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.

Several electric vehicles have been entered, including the ZOE and the Leaf, but drivers will have to make extra-careful use of the recharging network throughout the duration of the event.

MPG Marathon judged on power consumption

The aim is, of course, to see which cars perform the best with the best fuel efficiency and all electric cars will be judged on how much power they consumed during the course, with electricity measured at 13p per kilowatt hour.

Likewise, any fuel used by hybrid models over the duration of the marathon will also be taken into account.

Event organiser, Ross Durkin, explained: “In doing so, they will be replicating the real life driving conditions that the growing number of fleet drivers who use EVs encounter every working day. It promises to be an interesting challenge.”

The MPG Marathon is now in its fourteenth year and will start from the Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel in Gloucestershire.

Each car will be fitted with tracking equipment so the marathon organisers know exactly where the cars have been and how far they’ve travelled.

The event is open to fleet managers, representatives from fleet services, contract hire and leasing and fleet management companies, and from the motor industry plus anyone associated with it.

In previous years, the challenge has also attracted the attention of celebrities and journalists, along with academics and senior figures from the automotive industry.

Smart money on the Renault ZOE

The Renault ZOE is a serious contender for this year’s title after having dominated the Monte Carlo eco rally in March.

Designed to push the latest electric vehicles to the edge of their limits, the eco rally was divded into three stages, ranging from 29 miles to 55 miles in length.

The dinky ZOE managed to take the title thanks to its 88bhp electric motor, which can take the model to 60mph from a standstill in under 14 seconds, before going on to a top speed of 84mph.

Prices for the five-door Renault ZOE start from £18,443 while the Nissan Leaf is available from £15,990 with a battery leasing deal or £20,990 when buying the battery outright.