A team of Cal Poly Engineering Students competing in the US Shell Eco-Car Challenge took the top prize and $10,000 for the university with their entry, a sleek vehicle which performed at an astounding 1,902 miles per gallon.
The Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition offered the grand prize to the university whose student team completed the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel.
Students from the across the US and Canada competed on April 14 at the California Speedway in Fontana. Cal Poly’s official mpg in the competition was 1902.7 miles per gallon.
Cal Poly student Kevin Fang drove the wining car to victory in the marathon.
‘It’s important to be involved in programs like the Shell Eco-marathon to make people aware of what we can achieve in future transportation,’ said Mechanical Engineering major Tom Heckel, team manager for Cal Poly’s Super Mileage team. ‘I hope teams like ours will help shape the vehicles people drive years from now and those vehicles will be more environmentally friendly.’
Shell challenged the engineering students to drive their vehicles the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel, either conventional or alternative. While all of the teams accomplished impressive fuel economy figures, team Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, in the internal combustion division, won the grand prize with an astonishing 1902.7 miles per gallon.
Los Altos Academy of Engineering from Hacienda Heights won the hydrogen division at 1,038 miles per gallon.
Teams were comprised of about eight students working together to build prototype vehicles with three or four wheels using conventional fuels or alternative fuels or energy sources such as liquid petroleum gas, biofuels, compressed natural gas, hydrogen or solar.
This year’s challenge brought eighteen conventional fuel-powered entries, one hydrogen-powered entry and one solar-powered entry.