Universite Laval regains Shell Eco-marathon title

Canadian university beats out 130 teams with record setting fuel-efficiency run.

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by Design Engineering Staff

At the 7th annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013, Quebec’s Universite Laval posted the highest mileage ever achieved at the annual fuel-efficiency competition by traveling 3,587 miles on a single gallon of gasoline. (Click the link for an in depth look at the engineering behind Laval’s Alerion Supermileage team and its record breaking vehicle.

This was the fourth year in the last five that the Canadian team has dominated the competition, which attracted more than 1,000 students from across the Americas. Last year’s winner, a team from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind., placed second with a best run of 2,308 mpg on the track through the streets of downtown Houston.

Some 131 vehicles competed this year in various categories for the $2,000 first prize, with the Universite Laval achievement – nearly 1,300 mpg better than Mater Dei’s showing last year.

“What the Laval team accomplished is truly remarkable and it underscores the long way our own cars and trucks can go to improve their fuel efficiency,” said Mark Singer, global project manager of Shell Eco-marathon. “Each year, dedicated high school and university student teams astonish us with the advances they make in achieving unheard-of fuel-efficiency improvements.”

While impressive, Universite Laval’s winning mark – achieved in the Prototype category for internal combustion vehicles – didn’t break the all-time record of 8,914 mpg by a French team in 2003. Besides the Americas competition in Houston, Shell Eco-marathon also occurs annually in Europe and Asia and involves thousands of students from dozens of countries.

Mater Dei High took top honors again this year in the UrbanConcept category, with a winning mark of 849 miles per gallon of gasoline. Second place went to the Louisiana Tech University team whose vehicle achieved 335 miles per gallon of diesel fuel.

For both vehicle categories, teams can use either internal combustion or e-mobility energy sources, which include diesel, gasoline, ethanol, FAME, solar, hydrogen and battery electric technologies.