Fuel Cell and Solar Vehicles Place in Shell Eco-Marathon

John Davis

shell.jpgShell is touting its Eco-Marathon Americas race as a success in developing breakthroughs in fuel efficiency. The race also demonstrated the fuel-saving capabilities of alternative fuels, with hydrogen- and solar-powered cars making the top five.

“Ladies and gentlemen, start your fuel-efficient engines” were the words that kicked off the 2008 Shell Eco-marathon(TM) Americas; and that’s exactly what more than 300 students from Canada, Mexico, and the United States did.

The team’s combustion-engine prototype vehicle achieved an astonishing 2,843.4 miles per gallon, equivalent to 1,208.6 kilometers per liter. Despite wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour and various teams’ mechanical issues, competition was steep this year with three teams breaking the 2007 mileage record set by Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

The 2008 Shell Eco-marathon Americas welcomed 32 teams from four high schools and 23 universities from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The entries include 25 vehicles powered by combustion engines, four by fuel cell/hydrogen technology, one by diesel fuel, one by LPG (liquid petroleum gas) and two by solar power.

Category winners for the 2008 Shell Eco-marathon Americas include:

Grand Prize

With mileage of 2,843.4 mpg (1,208.6 kilometers per liter) the Supermileage Team from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind. won a $10,000 grand prize with their vehicle, 6th Gen.

Fuel Cell/Hydrogen

Penn State’s HFV Team from University Park, Pa., achieved 1,668.3 mpg (709.1 kilometers per liter) in its Blood, Sweat and Gears vehicle.


The Purdue Solar Racing team from West Lafayette, Ind., took first place with its solar vehicle Pulsar, which achieved 2,861.8 mpg (1,216.4 kilometers per liter).

Hydrogen, International, News, Racing, Solar