That's right, while the EPA and the State of California battle it out in court over whether cars will be required to get 35 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2020 or 36 mpg by 2016, this French-made car (above) already gets 7,148 mpg! The experimental vehicle, built by a team from a French technical school, won last year's "Eco-Marathon."
Described as "an educational project that integrates the sustainable development values with driving as far as possible using the least amount of energy," the Eco-Marathon is a yearly event sponsored (a little bit ironically?) by Shell. Yes, the oil multinational.According to the rules of the competition, cars (with 3 or 4 wheels) can be powered by gasoline, diesel, liquid petroleum gas, ethanol, compressed natural gas, hydrogen or solar. The car that travels the furthest, on the least amount of fuel, wins.
Calling all auto engineers, company reps and warring regulators - please attend this year's Eco-Marathons, in California April 10-13 and in Europe in May. Granted, we don't expect to see next year's models getting thousands of miles to the gallon, but there are design innovations here that, if adopted by the auto industry, would give companies an enormous competitive edge, and just may put the issue of minimum mpg to rest.