Designed and built by students at Universite Laval, in Quebec City, Canada the car traveled the farthest distance using the least amount of energy, defeating student teams from across the U.S. and Canada at the two-day street course challenge.
Bruce Culpepper, Shell Oil executive vice president Americas Operations, kicked off the challenge on Saturday by waving the green start flag and telling the drivers, "Start your fuel-efficient engines!"
It was the third year in a row that the Universite Laval team, Alérion Supermileage, declared victory in the Shell Eco-marathon. This year the Universite Laval team beat its own 2010 best mileage record by 77 mpg, taking the Internal Combustion First Prize in the Prototype class.
Universite Laval's winning fuel-efficient car (Photo courtesy University Laval)
"Every year, the competition at Shell Eco-marathon Americas gets a little tougher," said Alérion Supermileage team manager Anthony Bernier. "With more teams participating this year, there are a lot of really smart and innovative fuel-efficient ideas to be seen on and off the track."
"We put a lot of time and hard work into our vehicle this year and are very proud of how we did," said Bernier. "We are excited to be Shell Eco-marathon Americas champions for the third year in a row and to have beat our mileage achieved last year!"
Fifteen students from the Laval science and engineering faculty make up team Alérion Supermileage, including Driver Audrey Lainé, who is new to the team this year. The students learn teamwork at every step of the project, from fundraising to conception and assembly of the car to ignition of the engine.
Alérion Supermileage will take its winning car to the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe in Germany in May and also to the SAE Supermileage challenge in June in Marshall, Michigan.
The Eco-Marathon is an annual competition sponsored by Shell that is held around the world with events in Finland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, and the United States.
The event's history stretches back more than 70 years. In 1939, a group of Shell scientists in a research laboratory in Wood River, Illinois made a friendly bet to see who could drive their own car furthest on one gallon of fuel. The winner achieved 49.7 mpg.
Today, the Shell Eco-marathon continues to grow and challenge students to push the boundaries with innovative fuel efficiency solutions. In that spirit, an electric mobility category was added to the 2011 competitions. This category includes both Prototype and UrbanConcept vehicles powered by electric motors using hydrogen, solar and, for the first time, plug-in battery energy sources.
Other fuels in the internal combustion powered vehicles include gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, ethanol or gas-to-liquid fuels. The Prototype entries consisted of 39 vehicles powered by Internal Combustion engines included 32 by gasoline, three by ethanol, three by diesel fuel and one by biodiesel.
The Prototype vehicles powered by e-mobility included eight plug-in electrics, two hydrogen fuel cell cars and one solar car.
The UrbanConcept entries consisted of nine vehicles powered by Internal Combustion engines including seven by gasoline and two by diesel fuel. In thi class, the team from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana took first prize by achieving a best run of 646.7 mpg.
The e-mobility UrbanConcept vehicles included one powered by hydrogen fuel cell from the University of Missouri, and a solar-powered vehicle from Purdue University.
Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2011 event sponsors included: Autodesk, Michelin, Pennzoil ULTRA, SKF USA Inc. and Southwest Research Institute.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2011. All rights reserved.