The Volvo Snowbombing Challenge: Drive from the UK to Austria on One Tank of Petrol. Can We Do It?

Snowbombing Volvo Roadtrip image

All images via Volvo

At TreeHugger we totally dig examples of real world low carbon living solutions. While visiting the One Tonne Life project in Stockholm earlier this year, we saw how brands like Volvo, Siemens + Vattenfall are collaborating to create the right conditions for a family to radically reduce their carbon footprint. A few months later and Volvo are at it again with the Snowbombing Volvo Road Trip. This rallytastic fun is designed to encourage people from all over Europe to drive to their ski holiday rather than fly and we're excited because TreeHugger are going along for the ride...

Volvo Snowboard photo

The Volvo Challenge
Three fleets of cars will be setting off on the Volvo Road Trip from London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt this weekend for what's described as a "leisurely drive" to Mayrhofen, Austria where the raucous Snowbombing festival takes place. Meanwhile Volvo have set TreeHugger the challenge of driving our Volvo from their Marlow HQ in the UK to Mayrhofen on one tank of petrol. Yes, that's right from the UK to Austria on one tank! Do you think we can do it?

Volvo rally arriving in Mayrhofen photo

Volvo Road Trip arriving in Mayrhofen at Snowbombing 2010
Hypermiling Skills
We've written a lot about the concept of hypermiling and the efficient driving techniques that can help your tank of petrol take you further. So I am doing my research before setting off on Monday. There are some pretty amazing stories out there, like Jack Martin who won a Hypermiling competition in a Honda, As Mike wrote, he "squeezed out 124 miles out of one gallon of gasoline in his unmodified Insight hybrid."

There are the daredevil tricks like drafting behind trucks (don't think I'll be trying that one) and then there's the plain scary stories about hypermiling causing road rage - hopefully we won't encounter that on our adventure! I've also downloaded the Slow Down app to help me keep a constant speed out there on the road.

Volvo V50 DRIVe Car model

Volvo DRIVe V50
Your Hypermiling Tips
We'll be setting off from Marlow in the UK bright and early on Monday April 4th in a Volvo V50 DRIVe car which does 74.3 mpg and has a theoretical tank range of 850 miles. It is just over 850 miles from Marlow to Mayrhofen - 856.66miles by the RAC road miles calculator. So I'm hoping we can make it!

Marlow to Mayrhofen road map image

Marlow to Mayrhofen Road Map

Bolstering my confidence is the Fiat eco-driving research that April reported on. "Fiat, which did a big study of nearly half a million miles of eco-driving by 5,700 drivers in five countries, says the practice saves an average of 15% of fuel costs. They also discovered Italians aren't too good at eco-driving, while British drivers are great." As a Brit I'll start the engine with that thought in mind!

If you guys have any hypermiling tricks up your sleeves to help me on my journey then please do post them in the comments below. I'll be back next week to tell you how I got on on the Volvo Snowbombing Challenge.

More on Hypermiling
Hypermiling Becoming More Popular as Gas Prices Rise
Hypermiling Couple Gets Two Entries in Guiness World Records Book
Slow Down: the App for Rockin' Hypermilers
Toyota iQ Hypermiling Challenge: 18 Cities on a Tank of Fuel, 59.42 MPG
More on Volvo
One Tonne Life: Test Driving the Volvo C30 Electric Family Car (Interview)
Volvo's New Car Turns from Plug-In Electric, to Hybrid, to Diesel With a Button
Volvo to Make Plug-In Diesel Hybrid Based on V60 Wagon in 2012

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