Rallying often conjures up images of vehicles going fender-to-fender in a battle to conquer the dirt. The course tends to be packed with locals who often stand far too close for comfort. That's traditional rallying. In alternative-energy rallies, there's no fender-to-fender action, no high-speed thrills and few spectators. Instead alternative-energy rallies focus on maximizing fuel efficiency. Contestants are given a route, must abide by preset minimum and maximum speeds and, in order to capture victory, must arrive at the finish line having burned less fuel than the competition.

At this year's running of the Rallye Énergie Mobilité Alternative near Mont Tremblant, Quebec, 20 teams set out to conquer the course. Entrants included several Honda Insights, a few Honda CR-Zs and some Toyota Priuses. The race is the only FIA-sanctioned event of its kind in North America. Competitors hit the 311-mile course and, when the dust settled, two Honda employees in an Insight hybrid captured victory. Second and third place went to two teams in Toyota Priuses. Unfortunately, race results do not include overall efficiency numbers, but the Insight did capture the top spot, knocking the Priuses out of the winner's circle.

On the other side of the world, the Honda Insight captured the crown in the 2010 AA Energywise Rally in New Zealand. The Insight, piloted by Honda employees, covered 1,095 miles with a total fuel cost of NZD$147.83 ($110.98 U.S. at the current exchange rate). Considering that gasoline in New Zealand costs nearly $5.57 (U.S.) a gallon, the rally-winning Insight managed 55.3 miles per gallon, a number which was more than sufficient to beat out 48 other vehicles and win the title. Hit the jump for more on this year's alternative-energy rally in Quebec. Hat tip to Kevin!

[Source: Rallye Ernergie Alternative]

PRESS RELEASE

Honda wins fuel efficiency rally in Quebec


Boucherville, Quebec – Two Honda employees have won the fourth annual Rallye Énergie Mobilité Alternative, which requires participants to drive in an allotted time while using as little fuel as possible. Maxime Caron and Marc Quirion, who work at Honda's regional office in Quebec, drove a 2010 Honda Insight hybrid.

The only event of its kind in North America, the rally is sanctioned by the Fédération internationale de l'automobile (FIA) and took place early in October in the Upper Laurentians. The two will have the opportunity to participate in the fifth annual Monte Carlo Rally for Alternative Energy Vehicles in March 2011 through an exchange program with the Automobile Club of Monaco.

"We are proud of the effort by our two associates and the result they achieved," said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice-president of Honda Canada. "Of course, we believe that all participants were winners because ultimately the customer and the environment win due to these various technologies to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. As a leader in fuel economy and low-emission technology, Honda is committed to offering Canadians a wide range of fuel-efficient cars that are designed to help ensure blue skies for our children for generations to come."

This is the second year in a row that Honda has participated in the event, for which approximately 20 teams were registered this year. The participants follow a 465-kilometres course, staying within speed limits, driving within a specific time, and consuming the least amount of fuel possible.

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