HOUSTON, April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 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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For the third year in a row and beating last year's mileage by 77 mpg, the student team from Universite Laval in Quebec, Canada took home the Internal Combustion First Prize with an astonishing best run of 2,564.8 miles per gallon in the Prototype class. And in the UrbanConcept class, the team from Louisiana Technical University in Ruston, La. took First Prize by achieving a best run of 646.7 mpg. For the complete list of all Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2011 winners for both on-track and off-track awards, please visit www.shell.com/ecomarathon.
"Every year, the competition at Shell Eco-marathon Americas gets a little tougher," said Anthony Bernier of Universite Laval. "With more teams participating this year, there are a lot of really smart and innovative fuel-efficient ideas to be seen on and off the track. We put a lot of time and hard work into our vehicle this year and are very proud of how we did. We are excited to be Shell Eco-marathon Americas champions for the third year in a row and to have beat our mileage achieved last year!"
Bruce Culpepper, Shell Oil Company Executive Vice President Americas Operations, kicked off the challenge on Saturday, April 16, by waving the green start flag and asking the teams to "Start your fuel-efficient engines!" The competition was steep with a record number of 62 student teams and their 68 vehicles competing.
Shell Eco-marathon continues to grow and challenge students to push the boundaries with their innovative fuel efficiency solutions. In that spirit, an e-mobility category was added to the 2011 competitions. This category includes both Prototype and UrbanConcept vehicles powered by electric motors using hydrogen, solar or, for the first time, 'Plug-in' battery energy sources. Other fuels in the internal combustion powered vehicles include gasoline, diesel, GTL, biodiesel or ethanol.
Shell Eco-marathon is an inspiring part of Shell's "Smarter Mobility" program, which is aimed at meeting the needs of today's drivers as society faces an increasing demand on energy for transport. While alternative energies such as hydrogen and advanced biofuels have real potential, there will not be enough of these energy sources to make a measureable difference for another decade or more. With an eye on the future of transportation, the students and their innovative designs at Shell Eco-marathon are competitively focused on smarter use.
The 62 teams who participated in Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2011 entered 56 Prototype entries and 12 UrbanConcept entries (Note: some teams have multiple vehicle entries in different categories).
- The Prototype entries consisted of 39 vehicles powered by Internal Combustion engines included 32 by gasoline, three by ethanol, three by diesel fuel and one by biodiesel.
- The 17 Prototype vehicles powered by e-mobility included nine by 'Plug-in' electricity, three by fuel cell/hydrogen technology and five by solar.
- The UrbanConcept entries consisted of nine vehicles powered by Internal Combustion engines including seven by gasoline and two by diesel fuel.
- The three UrbanConcept vehicles powered by e-mobility included one by 'Plug-in' electricity, one by fuel cell/hydrogen and one by solar.
For more information on the Prototype and UrbanConcept classes and energy categories as well as complete results, please visit www.shell.com/ecomarathon. For event photos, click here. For video, click here.
Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2011 event sponsors included SKF USA Inc., Autodesk, Southwest Research Institute, Michelin and Pennzoil ULTRA.
Shell Eco-marathon Americas energy challenge will return to the streets of Houston in March 2012.
About Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 93,000 employees in more than 90 countries. We deliver a diverse range of energy solutions and petrochemicals to customers worldwide. These include transporting and trading oil and gas, marketing natural gas, producing and selling fuel for ships and planes, generating electricity and providing energy efficiency advice.
We also produce and sell petrochemical building blocks to industrial customers globally, and we are investing in making renewable and lower-carbon energy sources competitive for large-scale use. In the U.S., we operate in 50 states and employ more than 20,000 people delivering energy in a responsible manner.
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