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Alan Mulally and 1.0 EcoBoost engine
Ford CEO Alan Mulally shows his enthusiasm for the 1.0 EcoBoost engine. The EST Fleet Hero Award judges liked it too

Story: DAVID WILKINS

THE Energy Saving Trust has just announced the twelve recipients of this year’s Fleet Hero awards – the gongs it uses to recognise companies and organisations that do the best job of helping to save the planet by improving fleet efficiency.

Among the winners – leading manufacturers and company car favourites Ford and Toyota.

Ford won the Innovation in Car and Van Manufacturing Award, and it was the company’s impressive new 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine – it’s been wowing professional testers all year – that caught the judges’ attention.

It’s also caught our attention here at Business Car Manager: the Ford Focus 1.0T EcoBoost was our Company Car of the Year last year – see Best company car.

Ian Featherstone, transport knowledge manager at the EST, and a member of the judging panel, also praised it: “While alternatives to the internal combustion engine may be the future, existing technologies still have much to offer. Cutting edge, clever engineering like Ford’s EcoBoost has allowed a tiny engine to punch well above its weight and has re-opened the debate over the relative merits of petrol and diesel.

“For this reason we are delighted to present Ford with a Fleet Hero 2012 Award for Innovation in Car and Van Manufacturing.”

Toyota won the EST Leadership Award – here it was the company’s development of hybrid technology that impressed the judges. According to Featherstone “It takes strong leadership for a company to be the first to introduce new technology to the mass market and Toyota has done this so successfully that many other manufacturers are now following their lead. Our Leadership Award deservedly goes to Toyota this year for its on-going development of hybrid technology.”

The other Fleet Hero award winners were:

  • Best Public Sector Fleet: Northamptonshire Police
  • Best Private Sector Fleet: Willmott Dixon
  • Grey Fleet Management: Wiltshire Council
  • Business Mileage Management: Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Smarter Driving: SITA UK
  • Industry Supplier: ALD Automotive
  • Innovation in Fleet Services and Systems: Alphabet
  • Innovation in Fleet Management: Commercial Group
  • Transport Solutions Innovation – Supplier of the Year: Travel de Courcey
  • Commercial Vehicle Management: Stobart Group
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