|The Cal Poly vehicle: “Curb Hopper”. Click to enlarge.|
The team from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo today won the first Shell Eco-marathon Americas with a gasoline-fueled combustion engine vehicle that delivered 1,902.7 mpg.
The Eco-marathon challenges student teams to design and build the most fuel-efficient vehicles, which are tested in a mileage challenge. The Eco-marathon concept started as the Shell Mileage Marathon in 1939 after a friendly wager between employees of Shell Oil’s research laboratory in Wood River, Illinois, as to whose car could get the better fuel mileage. Shell has been running the current Eco-marathon for more than 20 years in the Europe and the UK, and brought a version of the event to the US for the first time this year.
The Eco-marathon Americas ran April 13 -14, 2007, at the California Speedway in Fontana, California. Shell challenged the engineering students to drive their vehicles the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel, either conventional or alternative.
Twenty-three teams competed in the combustion engine category. Second-place went Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, IN) at 1,637.2 mpg, with third-place going to Mater Dei High School (Evansville, IN) at 1,596 miles per gallon.
The Los Altos Academy of Engineering (Hacienda Heights, CA), the sole hydrogen engine entrant, came it with 1,038 mpg.
The 2007 European Shell Eco-marathon event is set to take place at the Nogaro Racing Circuit in the South of France on May 11-13, 2007. With more than 250 teams from educational institutions in 20 different countries, this year’s event is set to be the biggest ever. The teams are not only competing to break the European Shell Eco-marathon fuel efficiency record, but also competing for a host of other awards in various categories—from best Urban Concept vehicle (designed for normal road car use), to the most eco-friendly vehicle with the lowest emissions, best technical innovation, most impressive design and most effective communications campaign.