The fourth edition of the Optifuel Challenge, an eco-driving competition organised by Renault Trucks, is about to begin. In total, more than 2,500 drivers from around the world will compete in their respective countries behind the wheel of the 13-litre Renault Trucks T Optifuel. The best driver from each country, the one who consumes the least without sacrificing commercial speed, will participate in the international grand finale in the autumn of 2017.
Reducing fuel consumption depends not only on the truck, but the driver as well, as proven by the Renault Trucks Optifuel Challenge. This eco-driving competition has rewarded the best eco-driver in the world every two years since 2012. More than 2,500 drivers from 31 countries will compete behind the wheel of a Renault Trucks T. A caravan of 10 Renault Trucks T480 Optifuel trucks will make their way across European roads starting in April 2017.
These vehicles boast the latest innovations designed to reduce fuel consumption. They are equipped with aerodynamic features such as roof deflectors, side deflectors, side fairings, and fairing extensions. They have 13-litre Euro 6 Step C engines with a commonrail injection system and are equipped with power mode override, eco-cruise control with Optiroll (a controlled free-wheeling mode), a disengageable air compressor, a variable-flow steering pump, and an automatic engine stop feature. This newest generation of trucks also features the Optivision predictive speed regulator, which uses a GPS connection to adapt gear shifting, acceleration, and speed according to the route topography. This impressive range of features will further increase haulage company profits.
After a series of pre-selection trials, the best eco-drivers in each country will face off in the national finals. The best eco-driver from each country will then participate in the Optifuel Challenge international grand finale in October 2017.
Starting in April 2017: pre-selection trials
Each country that is participating in the Optifuel Challenge has pre-selection trials. In France, they will be held from April to June 2017, and the best eco-drivers will be selected via a new Optifleet feature: Ecoscore.
Participating drivers will be evaluated and ranked according to their Ecoscore results, which are transmitted at the end of every month. The Ecoscore tool evaluates individual driving skills and truck use, using an algorithm built thanks to Renault Trucks' 20 plus years of eco-driving experience. The system measures driving efficiency based on three main criteria:
- Anticipation (use of vehicle inertia and the brake pedal)
- Proper use of the vehicle (time spent in the efficient zone)
- Time spent with the engine idling
The twenty best drivers will be chosen for the French final, which will be held on 18-19 September 2017 in Le Mans.
October 2017: The international finale
The best eco-drivers from each of the 31 countries participating in the competition will face off in the international grand finale in October 2017. The finale will be split into two parts: participants will first answer a questionnaire that tests their eco-driving knowledge, followed by a driving test on the open road in a Renault Trucks T Optifuel truck, lasting around 40 minutes. The winner will be the driver who consumes the least without sacrificing commercial speed.
List of the 31 participating countries:
Algeria, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Spain, Estonia, France, Finland, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Morocco, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Romania, the United Kingdom, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Ukraine.