Engineering students at Quebec’s Université Laval have again made headlines in the Shell Eco-marathon competition as they have designed a car so fuel efficient it could travel between Atlanta, Georgia, and Seattle, Washington on one gallon of gas! The students took the first prize in the Shell Eco-marathon competition in the fuel efficiency category with their Alérion Supermileage car that gave a whopping efficiency of 2,713.1 miles per gallon of gasoline!
While the trumpet of electric vehicles is blowing with full might, they still have a long way to go to catch up with the more popular gas-powered cars. Gas’ combustion, however, isn’t very eco-friendly, so it’s a smart bet to try and look for more efficient fuel solutions. And prospects, like presented by the students of Université Laval, might just do the trick.
The car came in as an entry for the Shell Eco-marathon Americas, and its 2,713 miles per gallon (mpg) performance on a Detroit, Michigan test track is one of the best seen in the competition. It is only topped by the last year’s champion from the University of Toronto with their astounding 3,421 mpg vehicle.
“In winning the overall competition, Université Laval defeated 114 other rivals vying to see whose vehicle could travel the farthest distance on the equivalent of a gallon of gas,” according to a press release for the event.
The team from the Université Laval are serial winners in the competition, bagging seven out of the last ten competitions and beating over 100 vehicle designs this year. They haven’t released a lot of information about the design to keep a competitive edge, but we do know it’s a one person vehicle with a Briggs & Stratton single cylinder 3.5 horsepower engine. The car also has thin tires to minimize surface area contact and a carbon fiber body to keep the car lightweight.
The entire car is stripped down to only bare essentials for adequate speed and safety and the aerodynamic design is such to reduce wind resistance. Pretty cool, isn’t it?