Student-Built Eco Car Gets 2,487.5 MPG, Kicks Automaker Butt

Photo courtesy of Shell Eco-Marathon

It has happened again. While Detroit has been off talking about "alternative cars" as mythical as the Chupacabra (i.e. the Chevy Volt), students went off and built a vehicle that achieves 2,487.5 miles per gallon.

It was a team from Laval University in Quebec, Canada who took the Grand Prize at this year's Shell Eco-Marathon...again. They won last year with a jaw-dropping 2,757.1 MPG. The challenge took place this past weekend with over 40 different custom-built eco-vehicles. The roster included 42 teams from 9 high schools and 28 universities from across the Americas.

Photo courtesy of Shell Eco-Marathon

The race had two categories--Prototype or UrbanConcept. The Prototypes are a set of oddly streamlined, high performing vehicles that choose fuel efficiency over aesthetics. UrbanConcepts are a little more road worthy and better suited for "real life." Whatever that means.

Teams can use whatever energy source suits them best, from gasoline to a flux capacitor. Of course alternatives like hydrogen, biomass and solar are also popular. But only one will take you back in time!

Photo courtesy of Shell Eco-Marathon
Photo courtesy of Shell Eco-Marathon

The Prototype entry had 28 vehicles powered by combustion engines, 5 fuel cell/hydrogen vehicles, 2 solar and 2 powered by diesel. The UrbanConcept course included 6 combustion engines, 2 by diesel, 1 hydrogen and 1 by solar.

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Source: Green Car Congress