KU* EcoHawks Aim for 500 MPG Car

John Davis

Some University of Kansas* engineering students are working on a car they hope will get 500 miles per gallon… and ethanol and biodiesel look to figure in as some of the fuels it would run on.

This story from the KU* School of Engineering web site says the students are working on a 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle to turn it into the epitome of hybrid auto efficiency:

“That’s the fun. By the time we’re done, it’s going to be totally different, and it’s going to be great,” says Lou McKown, a University of Kansas senior in mechanical engineering.The EcoHawks hard at work on a 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle

For his senior project, McKown is part of a team called the EcoHawks, that is taking the iconic round vehicle and transforming it from a motionless heap to a fully integrated hybrid vehicle by the end of the school year.

“We’re just the first year of this, too,” McKown says. “We hope that the work we do this year will provide the basis for the next year and so on.

“Our long-term goal is to make a car that can get efficient fuel anywhere in the country, whether it be electric, ethanol, biodiesel, whatever.”

The students’ advisor hopes they’ll be able to change the car culture in this country by teaching people how to turn their classic into classically efficient.

You can read more about the Kansas* EcoHawks at www.ecohawks.org.

*(Editor’s note: since it is Border War Week between Missouri and Kansas, I am required by Missouri law to spit every time I write or say the word “Kansas.” [ptooey]. And I’m an Iowa Hawkeye fan! But rules are rules.)

Biodiesel, Ethanol, Flex Fuel Vehicles, News