Author Topic: Student-Built Prototype Vehicle Breaks Mileage Record  (Read 3023 times)

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Offline Muhammad Asim Baloch

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Student-Built Prototype Vehicle Breaks Mileage Record
« on: April 18, 2008, 03:41:22 AM »
 “Ladies and gentlemen, start your fuel-efficient engines” were the words that kicked off the 2008 Shell Eco-marathon™ Americas; and that’s exactly what more than 300 students from Canada, Mexico, and the United States did today. Mater Dei High School of Evansville, Ind., set a new mileage record at the 2008 Shell Eco-marathon Americas, a challenge to design, build and test fuel-efficient prototype vehicles that travel the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel.

The team’s combustion-engine prototype vehicle achieved an astonishing 2,843.4 miles per gallon, equivalent to 1,208.6 kilometers per liter. Despite wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour and various teams’ mechanical issues, competition was steep this year with three teams breaking the 2007 mileage record set by Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

The 2008 Shell Eco-marathon™ Americas welcomed 32 teams from four high schools and 23 universities from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The entries include 25 vehicles powered by combustion engines, four by fuel cell/hydrogen technology, one by diesel fuel, one by LPG (liquid petroleum gas) and two by solar power.

Category winners for the 2008 Shell Eco-marathon Americas include:

Grand Prize
With mileage of 2,843.4 mpg (1,208.6 kilometers per liter) the Supermileage Team from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind. won a $10,000 grand prize with their vehicle, 6th Gen.

Combustion Engine
The 6th Gen vehicle from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind., took first place in this category with its 2,843.4 mpg (1,208.6 kilometers per liter) run.

Fuel Cell/Hydrogen
Penn State’s HFV Team from University Park, Pa., achieved 1,668.3 mpg (709.1 kilometers per liter) in its Blood, Sweat and Gears vehicle.

The Purdue Solar Racing team from West Lafayette, Ind., took first place with its solar vehicle Pulsar, which achieved 2,861.8 mpg (1,216.4 kilometers per liter).

Mileage wasn’t the only challenge
Achieving the best fuel economy in a category isn’t the only win. Addressing challenges on and off the track and turning them into successes through teamwork and innovation is also a victory for student teams. Months of planning helped teams stretch the boundaries of fuel efficiency.

The weather conditions created challenges for students and required one team to switch to a heavier driver, which resulted in a vehicle redesign.

While the team from Mexico was working through their technical issues, the 17-member team from Université Laval was on hold for two days waiting for their vehicle to clear U.S. customs. With only one day left to compete, the Canadian team worked well into the night to fully assemble their car and clear inspection within 12 hours. In their first attempt, the team from Quebec moved into fifth place.

The event also allowed students to gain practical experience by applying concepts taught in the classroom. While designing and financing the vehicle is done before students get to track, teams are constantly making modifications to improve vehicle performance.

Event photos, complete results, videos, and pod casts are available at