Breaking the record

A car built by a Bath engineer has broken a British record for fuel economy in a recent eco-marathon held in Scotland.

With fuel prices reaching an all time high, a car built by a Bath engineer has broken a British record for fuel economy in a recent eco-marathon held in Scotland.

Andy Green, who works in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath, built the three-wheel car in his spare time and regularly competes in competitions to find the world’s most fuel-economic car.

The ‘Team Green’ car made the most of the clement weather at the Alford race track in Aberdeenshire to set a new British record of 6,603 miles on a gallon of fuel, beating the old record, achieved in 1999, by over 200 mpg.

To measure the distance a car travels, competition judges measure the fuel capacity of the car and then see how far it travels on one tank of petrol. Using just 4.61 cubic centimetres of fuel the car travelled an impressive 6.335 miles, the equivalent of 6603 miles (or the distance from Bath to Tokyo as the crow flies) on just one gallon of fuel.

For its record-breaking run, the car was driven by Jenny Goodman, a graduate Aerospace Engineer from the University. Goodman said that the car had to be driven between speeds of 9 miles per hour and 13 miles per hour. This may not seem very fast, but the car has very low visibility and all the drivers must avoid having to use their brakes, as this would dramatically increase the fuel-consumption of the cars. 

 While at Alford, Team Green also entered the car in the Liquid Petroleum Gas competition, and picked up another British record achieving 4,953 mpg with the environmentally-friendly fuel. 

Green is now planning on starting work on a new car that he hopes to race in the French Eco-Marathon event in May 2006.

“We feel that we have squeezed probably as much as we are able to from the existing vehicle and that we should press on again with the new one as soon as possible,” said Green.

“I am hoping there will be significant savings in vehicle weight and aerodynamic drag with the new vehicle so that we can see some early advances in the miles per gallon figures.”

Team Green’s sponsors include: Shell Global Solutions, Michelin, Polymeric Composites, C12 Composites, BSL, Roehm, GEMS, MDS Batteries, Drill Service (Horley), SMC Pneumatics (UK), Camcoat Performance Coatings, Aurora Bearing, Bristol Banners and Signs, Total Restraints Systems and the University of Bath.