Student Designed Car Gets 2,824 mpg

Way back in 1939, a friendly competition sparked up between two Shell engineers. The competition, of course, was to see who could design and build the ultimate energy efficient vehicle. This friendly battle ended with the winner managing to squeeze out an impressive 49.39 miles per gallon out of a 1933 Plymouth.

Now, 75 years later, the spirit of these two scientists lives on through the world famous Shell Eco-Marathon Americas competition. Not surprisingly, though, the results have changed dramatically. Currently, this competition is one of the most competitive fuel efficiency events in the world, regularly producing vehicles that get thousands of miles per gallon!

car2This past weekend, down in Houston, Texas, the event once again featured more than one hundred different college and high school teams from all over the world.

For the sixth time in school history, the winning Prototype vehicle came from Université Laval of Quebec, Canada. Their Alérion Supermileage team developed a 3-wheeled, tear drop shaped vehicle that managed to hit 2,834 miles per gallon. That means that this bad boy could travel across the country on one gallon of gas!

Team captain, Audrey Lainé, says, “Our team is excited with the results of the weekend. Initially, we had issues with our engine, but we came together as a team to fix it and are extremely satisfied. The University of Toronto (2,712 mpg) and Mater Dei High School (901 mpg) had very close scores to our team, which made the weekend even more exciting.”

Of course, none of the scores were all that close to last year’s Université Laval score of 3,587 miles per gallon. And they were even further off of the record score of 8,000 miles per gallon, which was set by a French team back in 2009.

Of course, this was only the prototype portion of the competition.

For the Urban Concept portion, teams are required to come up with bigger vehicles that are required to include passenger comfort, making the vehicles more likely to appear on the road. For this, Mater Dei High School took home the big prize for a flying saucer like car that could travel 849 miles per gallon.

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