For the Eco-Marathon Americas, a student team designed a slick vehicle that can get 2,824 miles per gallon.
Every year, Shell holds the Eco-Marathon Americas, a competition which challenges teams of students to try and build some of the world’s most energy-efficient vehicles. This year, a group of student from Université Laval in Quebec, designed an oddly-shaped vehicle that can get 2,824 miles per gallon. What that means, is that the car would be able to travel from New York to Los Angeles on less than a gallon of fuel.
Even though the team faced a whole host of problems, such as excess friction and electrical short circuits, they managed to come away with the top mileage prize for the fifth time out of the past six Eco-marathon Americas competitions. As impressive as it was, their attempt was well below the all time high of 3,587 miles per gallon, set by the same school last year.
The school’s team captain, Audrey Lainé, still had plenty to celebrate. “Our team is very excited with the results of the weekend. We had issues with our engine, but we came together as a team and fixed it,” she said. “The weekend was great!”
The University of Toronto placed second with a carbon-fibre petrol prototype shaped like a black torpedo. It actually led the competition for one of the days, but a malfunction in its custom designed motor put an end to their chances. Their vehicle still managed to get 2,712 miles per gallon, which wasn’t far behind the winning team’s entry.
Eco-marathon Americas consists of two sections; Prototype, which focuses on maximum efficiency, and UrbanConcept, which puts more focus on passenger comfort. There are also seven categories based on the fuel type, which can be either conventional gas or diesel, biofuels, fuel made from natural gas, hydrogen, solar, or electricity. Winners of each category were awarded with $2,000.
All of the designs are exceptional in terms of energy-efficiency, but most are lacking in terms of speed and safety. Still, with so many great prototypes on the ground, it would be great to see car manufacturers get more involved and help take these designs to the point where they are roadworthy.
Images by Shell