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University of British Columbia Wins Supermileage Competition with 3,145 MPG Vehicle

Ubc_team
UBC team and winning vehicle. Click to enlarge. Photo: Morgan Lok

The University of British Columbia (UBC) took first in the collegiate division at the recent SAE Supermileage Competition with a vehicle that achieved 3,145 mpg (0.075 liters/100km)—the equivalent of driving from Vancouver to Halifax on a gallon of gas.

UBC’s student team has taken first place four out of the six years it has competed, with 2006 marking the fourth straight victory. Last year the UBC team beat out 27 teams by reaching 1,600 miles per gallon (mpg).

We achieved this level of efficiency by optimizing many aspects of the vehicle design, including: aerodynamics, light-weight construction, a small displacement engine (54 cc), and conservative driving habits.

—UBC Team Captain Kevin Li

The UBC vehicle had a 3-ply carbonfibre body with a Cd of 0.11.

In second place was Université Laval (Que.) with 1,823 mpg. Other teams represented University of Windsor, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Pennsylvania State University, and the Delhi College of Engineering. Ivy Tech State College of Indiana took third with 1,314 mpg.

Mater Dei High School topped the high school division with 1,897 mpg.

Supermileage is an annual SAE student engineering competition that challenges students to design, build, and drive a single-person vehicle (powered solely by a gasoline engine) to achieve the best fuel mileage possible. The vehicle must be powered by only an internal combustion engine, with no assistance from electric motors or human propulsion.

(A hat-tip to Juniper Hunter and Travis Rassat!)

Resources:

Comments

allen zheng

How fast werre they going, and what was the driving terrain like?

Steve

That's awesome!!! Now if we can just get a competition for making a semi more fuel efficient while carrying 15,000 pounds of load we can make some real progress in the problems that we face with oil dependency.

allen zheng

Perhaps DARPA could do that. The military does have a large fleet of trucks that need to be relpaced in the next 10 years.

jPadula

Rocky mountain Institute (RMI) has a contract to consult with Walmart on class 8 truck purchase and modification. Nearly 2/3 of all of that class sold in US are bought by 100 large companies, Wallmart buys 1%.
They are the largest class 8 operator other than the military.
So if one company gets demanding, the others can buy there version too since it will save them money.
European trucks are a bit ahead of us so there is some low hanging fruit.

Sid Hoffman

While this is an awesome achievement, it has nothing to do with the real world. That vehicle isn't even useful as a toy for kids. If they could get 3000mpg out of a Honda Ruckus or something that would be a big deal because that's a street legal vehcle.

Robert Schwartz

It would take a surgical operation to get me into that thing and a month in traction after I got out.

Richard

All you naysayers, what have you done to show how to conserve resources??? Then be quiet!

Harvey D.

Please give these young guys the credit they deserve to have built a demonstration ICE vehicle that can go 3145 mpg.

If GM had put similar efforts in the Hummer and other 3-Ton gas guzzlers design, they would get 60+ mpg instead of barely 15 mpg.

Properly designed, very light weight ICE vehicles could be street legal, comfortable for most of us (with exception of .... at 300+ lbs), carry 2 or 4 normal size people at normal speed and get 100+ mpg.

Our ladies DO NOT need 3-Ton gas guzzlers to go shopping or take the children to school. Nobody needs such monsters to drive to work or go golfing etc.

Bill W

WOW, hats off to UBC!!!! Way to go guys!!

Even though the conditions were somewhat controlled and benign, think about 3000+ mpg. In a vehicle that has to start itself, be somewhat drivable and with ICE only. Even more impressive is the fact they nearly DOUBLED the nearest competitor and DOUBLED their entry from last year.

That is great work!!

Engineer-Poet

I doubt very much that an H1 or H2 Hummer could achieve 60 MPG at highway speeds on any kind of combustion engine; it just takes too much energy to push the weight and overcome the air drag.

OTOH, I hit close to 30 MPG on the highway last weekend... towing a trailer!  Had I been driving a fully-streamlined vehicle at the same weight (5520 lb) I might have been able to get 60 MPG at the same speed.

Harvey D.

Of course, H-1 and H-2 and H++ would have to be completly redesigned using very light weight materials to reduce the total weight by more than 50% + much higher efficiency ICE and drive train to get 60+ mpg., but it can be done.

We may have to double the gas price + agressive vehicle sales taxes and registration fees based on weight + HP + GHG + mpg + city centers driving penalties etc to convince manufacturers and buyers that higher price, cleaner, more efficient vehicles are worth it.

Ash

On the topic of lightweight ICEs, Ford's prototype plastic engine blocks were promising, what ever happened to them?

sjc

Somebody mentioned trucks. Calstart has a program to promote hybrid trucks and is making some progress.

http://weststart.org/programs/?p=programs

Nory

It's great news) I never doubted the University of British Columbia, couse the greatest student are studeing there. There are the greatest engineers. I'm sure, that they never order their structural engineer report somewhere.

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