The US federal government, which touts its historic 54.5 miles-per-gallon fuel-efficient standard for 2025 model year autos, might want to rethink that mark. It’s downright puny compared to what a team of students from Quebec’s Université Laval achieved today as its vehicle traveled a mind-boggling 3,587 miles on a single gallon of gasoline at the 7th annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013 competition. It was the highest mileage ever achieved for both Université Laval and the Americas challenge.
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As energy demand continues to increase along with gasoline prices, students from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind., demonstrated just how fuel-efficient vehicles can become with the help of innovative design and a lot of hard work. Their entry in the sixth annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas achieved an impressive best run of 2,188 miles per gallon in the Prototype class. Mater Dei also achieved the highest mileage, 611 mpg, in the UrbanConcept class with “George,” a vehicle modeled after George Jetson’s cartoon flying car.
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Going the farthest distance might sound like a foot race. But this past weekend, it meant stretching the boundaries of fuel efficiency as student teams competed in the fifth annual Shell Eco-marathon® Americas, a challenge for students to design, build and test fuel-efficient vehicles that travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. High school and university students from Canada and the United States competed in the two-day street course challenge in downtown Houston.
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While many students spent the weeks and months leading up to spring break preparing for midterm exams, an ambitious group of students geared up for another important test. They are the 70 teams from 18 high schools and 31 universities across North America — including Canada, Mexico and the United States — participating in Shell Eco-marathon® Americas 2011. The test? To push the boundaries of fuel efficiency and see which team can go the farthest using the least amount of energy at Shell Eco-marathon Americas, taking place April 14-17, 2011 on the streets of downtown Houston.
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As most high school and college students are busy tackling tests or taking it easy during spring break, student teams from across the Americas are preparing for the ultimate extracurricular activity – designing, building, and testing a vehicle that travels the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. After months of coordinating designs and constructing vehicles, 43 student teams – among 9 high schools and 29 universities – are putting the finishing touches on their vehicles for the 2010 Shell Eco-marathon Americas energy challenge. These leaders of tomorrow, and their fuel-efficient creations, will soon take to the streets of downtown Houston, March 26-28 around Discovery Green Park. We’ll find out if these students can beat the 2,757.1 miles per gallon (1,172.2 kilometers per liter) achieved in 2009 by Laval University, but more than that, the students will grant us a glimpse into the fuels, technologies and transportation of tomorrow.
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