Tag archives for fuel efficiency

In his call Tuesday for boosting the fuel economy of heavy-duty trucks, President Barack Obama is taking aim at one of the world’s fastest growing engines of oil demand and greenhouse gas emissions. But one of the most popular ideas for reducing oil demand in trucking—switching to natural gas—may not help on climate change. A…

Forty years ago this month, Syria and Egypt launched a Yom Kippur surprise attack on Israel to regain land and prestige lost in the 1967 Six-Day War. Israeli forces were nearing Damascus and Cairo when a ceasefire took hold. But as the Soviet Union resupplied its Arab clients and President Nixon resupplied Israel, Arab members…

This week, the United States faces down the looming deadline for extending its debt ceiling, a line in the sand that economists say could have dire consequences for our nation’s and the world’s economy if the U.S. defaults on its credit obligations. With the federal government shut down for nearly two weeks on top of…

For several years running, French engineering students from two neighboring Loire Valley schools, Polytech Nantes and La Joliverie, have shared engineering and effort to build rocket-shaped vehicles that captured top prizes at Shell Eco-marathon Europe fuel efficiency race. But the students began to feel there was something lacking in their cars’ perennially award-winning profile. “It…

Kağan Meijer of Celal Bayar University in Turkey explains the changes made to the vehicle to conform to new rules for Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2013. Celal Bayar’s car last year, Tarzan, had large over-hanging solar panels, but this year, the  solar panels needed to be smaller to be integrated into the body of the vehicle.…

Hungary’s Kecskemét College had an amazing second-place run in last year’s Shell Eco-marathon Europe, and the team was determined to kick up its performance this year. The gasoline-powered engine is now 45 cubic centimeters, about a third larger than last year’s engine for the car, nicknamed Megameter, which achieved a performance of 2,695.5 kilometers per liter…

What if you could pack and assemble a car like Ikea furniture? Students at Aston University aimed for lightweight portability and sustainability in the wood car they designed and built for Shell Eco-marathon Europe. Their project manager, Christian Mclening, explains the innovative plywood composite chassis and “flat-pack” design in the video below. In addition to…

Dana and Lorena Ruisi of Universidad Cardenal Herrera’s Idea Ceu Team from Spain explain that their team took inspiration from nature for the shape of their car entered in Shell Eco-marathon Europe. Their vehicle is shaped like a rain drop. They believe falling rain is one of nature’s most efficient means of movement, and they…

As a college athlete (track and field), I understand the desire to put on a good performance while on one’s home turf. So when I was talking to high school students from Team Ubbo Emmius from the Netherlands at Shell Eco-marathon Europe, I expected them to feel the same way about “home field advantage” giving…

More than 3,000 high school and college students from 24 countries are gathered in the port city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, this weekend for a race for fuel efficiency. More than 180 cars are entered in Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2013, where students design and build super-low-mileage vehicles, and then prove them on a 10-mile (16.3-kilometer)…

In 2009, Kecskemét College’s GAMF team in Hungary set out to develop an energy-efficient prototype vehicle. Our aim was to cover 1,000 kilometers consuming 1 liter of gasoline (equivalent to 2,352 mpg). That’s why the vehicle’s name is Megameter = 1,000 km. We took the Megameter III to Rotterdam for Shell Eco-marathon last year, and it covered 2,696 km/liter (6,341 mpg) during…

A Movie-Like Ending at Eco-marathon

I guess it was important for us to enjoy the ENTIRE Shell Eco-marathon experience. With 10 minutes to go on the very last day of competition, our electric urban concept car fell from first to second place, beaten by a Dixie Cup’s worth of energy.  The story would be gut-wrenching if it had not been…

Teams of students from around the world, who labored for several weeks to build super-fuel-efficient cars, sent those cars into the final test at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas in Houston this past weekend. The top winner for traditional fuels: Université Laval of Québec City, which achieved a best run of 3,587 miles per gallon (1,524…

The effort to go green in building materials added to the challenges for the Loyola Marymount Senior Mechanical Engineers team at Shell Eco-marathon Americans 2013. Senior Van Weller explained that the team chose lightweight bamboo for the body of its gasoline-powered prototype vehicle, the Gen 5, and spiffed it up with gold paint. Unfortunately, the…

Zack Lapetina of Purdue University explains how the Purdue Solar Racing team uses high-efficiency photovoltaic panels, and then adds intensifiers to increase the amount of sunlight the cars capture for energy in Shell Eco-marathon Americas student design competition. You can also read their blog about their journey here: Lighter and Sleeker for This Year’s Race.…

Students at Cicero-North Syracuse High School are demonstrating an innovation in flexible vehicle design with the hydrogen vehicles they built for Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013. The CNS Performance Engineering Team fashioned its hydrogen tank and fuel cell unit, shown in one of the photos above, as a modular, removable unit that can be moved back…

The “Let’s Do It Again!” team from James B. Dudley High School in Greensboro, North Carolina weaves reuse, recycling, and waste reduction into construction of the high-efficiency electric cars it builds for Shell Eco-marathon Americas. This year, the team’s three vehicles incorporate parts of an old baby carriage, a child car seat, a chair, some…

In order to gain easy access to work on the engine between heats, students from Mater Dei High School of Evansville, Indiana, typically build their Shell Eco-marathon cars to open like unhinged clamshells. However, as coach Dan Ritter explains, duct tape works surprisingly well at holding everything together on the track. It seems to have…

Sophomore Dansil Green, team driver, explains one of the ways that the Granite Falls High School team from Washington State seeks to set a mark in fuel economy at Shell Eco-marathon Americas: With a light-footed driving style. Like most of the teams, the ShopGirls coast around the track when they can, only drawing on their…

Pamela Ruiz of Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City explains how her team built a car that resembles a predator of the sea. Appropriately, they named their vehicle Mako, after the fast-moving shark. Nacional Autonoma is one of 11 teams from outside the United States in Shell Eco-marathon Americas this year (four from…

Junior electrical engineering student Shane Poindexter, of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks’ “Nanook” team, explains  how the team transported their six vehicles more than 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) to Houston: In their airline luggage. He says even in an oil-producing state, the students recognize the importance of building more fuel-efficient vehicles. The team team’s six…

Although the mileage turned in by the top performers in Shell Eco-marathon Americas may be eye-popping—typically about 2,000 miles per gallon (846 kilometers per liter)—the student competitors in the European edition of the competition achieve triple the fuel economy. (Last year’s European winner turned in a performance of 6,663.2 mpg (2,832.8 km/l). (See “French Teams…

Louisiana Tech University has been a perennial winner at Shell Eco-marathon Americas, with an emphasis on slipping aerodynamic features into sleekly designed cars that look like they could be driving the roads today. “They want a car that looks like a car,” explained Heath Tims, associate professor of mechanical engineering and team coach. “They want…

Why does this team’s high-efficiency car look like a taxi? Ride-sharing is the idea that students at St. Paul’s School in Covington, Louisiana wanted to drive home with the vehicle they built for Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013. It’s nicknamed “Big Yellow Taxi,” and modeled after Benny the cartoon taxi in the movie, “Who Framed Roger…

With only a week until Shell Eco-marathon, we here at MadSCI ran our car for the first time. Although this is our fourth car, the feeling of accomplishment never seems to dull, and the pride that has stemmed from that has completely invigorated the team. We don’t expect to bury the competition, nor is that…