"The Real Green" Challenge 2009

AUTOBEST organization launched “The Real Green” back in 2009 on 22nd of September, in Istanbul. 
At the festivity were present many international personalities, one of the best in AUTOBEST history back then. 

“The Real Green” initiative is the next big thing in AUTOBEST history, the biggest step coming in a decade! ` stated Dan Vardie on stage of the AUTOBEST Awards Gala in Istanbul. `As a central piece, we will launch a ground breaking customer-oriented competition named ECOBEST Challenge to measure the real green credentials of the modern cars in real life, real traffic with the average European customer habits. For the first time we will determine real figures by measuring and not by delivering computer generated data, following the European testing cycle. This is kind of obvious for millions of motorists that are complaining that the figures provided by manufacturers are too optimistic- first in consumption. ` added Dan Vardie who conceived this new project.

For the 2009 edition, AUTOBEST members of the Jury were coming from 14 countries in the region and represented a virtual market with more than 300 million people.

Back then, the initiative also introduced, as a first, the necessity of making people more aware about eco-driving techniques, the necessity for governments to introduce special incentives for green cars going to zero taxation for plug- in cars and hydrogen fuel cell propulsion cars. It was also discussed how to make the governments and the local communities to invest in stations for electric charge, hydrogen stations and alternative de -carbonated fuels. Keeping in mind that plug-ins were very few and regarded a very distant – if- alternative, the AUTOBEST project is even more impressive.

The categories of cars to be tested during the ECOBEST Challenge were:

-ICE gasoline cars with 3 cylinders / max 1 l capacity

-diesel engines with less than 100 g/ km

-mild and full hybrids

-Plug in Hybrids

-Extended ranger

-Electric Vehicles

-Hydrogen Fuel Cell

-prototypes with alternative propulsion like solar power vehicles and more

It was introduced the idea of a series of EcoC proprietary indexes to make consumers to easily understand how green are in reality the new cars. Some of these were highly complicated formulas based on non-linear complex mathematics. Even more, in the desire to protect as patents these revolutionary formulas, AUTOBEST did the research with specialized agencies which revealed that nowhere around the globe there is a practice in such domain. Anyhow, the prohibitive price of the homologation of patents forced AUTOBEST to put on hold this operation.

The complexity behind organizing such a competition and the huge budget involved, led AUTOBEST to look for international partnerships. In the middle of the next decade, AUTOBEST sealed a partnership with Peter AUTO, the well-known French organizer of the best vintage cars events in Europe. Later on, Bureau Veritas and T & E joined the consortium. The 4 partners applied for a grant at European Commission to make possible the realization of the most ambitious project ever imagined in Europe in the field of real green. As the period of the application was in the same time with the introduction of the new WLTP testing cycle (replacing the old NEDC), the EC considered that it’s new cycle will be able to deliver real figures with no need to check how real are the results. But in AUTOBEST we soon realized that although WLTP is closer to the reality compared with NEDC it is still too optimistic. And today, after 3 editions of ECOBEST Challenge, we proved that this is a fact.

Some said once that the nickname of AUTOBEST is `mission impossible`. This was coming during pandemic time when AUTOBEST was the only independent motoring media in Europe addressing to a total market of more than 400 million people. In spite of all the hurdles, AUTOBEST managed to stick to the regular program including the Final Test. This spirit is a constant philosophy at AUTOBEST and is allowing to make things possible in spite of all the odds.

As a pilot program, on November 20-th, 2009, it was organized at a very small scale an Eco Rest in Bucharest, Romania. This first try with some local celebrities – including the multi Olimpic champion for canoe, the late Ivan Patzaichin and the famous gymnastics coach Octavian Bellu- proved the validity of the concept. Even on a very small scale, the Eco Test was well regarded by the consumers as a reference for the reality of driving.

So far, this is just the beginning of a new era. The 4th edition of ECOBEST Challenge is shaping up to be even better than the previous ones. AUTOBEST is boldly developing the project every year in the quest to become the real standard of green credentials in the car industry. It is a project encouraged by many millions of motorists embracing the electromobility, who are eager to know the real related figures.

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