Gateway Gazette

Canada Wins Big in Shell Eco-Marathon Americas in Detroit

University of Alberta - winners
The Alice, race number 611, an UrbanConcept vehicle running on hydrogen for team University of Alberta EcoCar Team from University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, receives first place for Hydrogen Fuel Cell UrbanConcept during the awards ceremony on the final day of the Shell Eco-marathon Americas in Detroit, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (Bryan Mitchell/AP Images for Shell)

University of Alberta

Queen's University
The Alan, race number 211, a Prototype vehicle running on hydrogen for team Queen’s Fuel Cell Team from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, receives first place for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Prototype during the awards ceremony on the final day of the Shell Eco-marathon Americas in Detroit, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (Bryan Mitchell/AP Images for Shell)

Queen's University - winners

Université de Sherbrooke - winners
The La Fendeuse , race number 314, a Prototype vehicle running on battery electric for team Beyond from Université de Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, receives first place for Battery Electric Prototype during the awards ceremony on the final day of the Shell Eco-marathon Americas in Detroit, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (Bryan Mitchell/AP Images for Shell)

Université de Sherbrooke

Shell Eco-marathon is a unique competition that challenges students around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car. With three annual events in Asia, Americas and Europe, student teams take to the track to see who goes further on the least amount of fuel.

Driving the future of mobility

After a year of preparation, bright young engineers have just a few days to battle it out in urban circuits, driving self-built cars for supreme energy efficiency.

Location

The main Shell Eco-marathon events in 2016 will takes place around the world in:

  • Asia: March 3-6, Manila, the Philippines.
  • Americas: April 22-24, Detroit, Michigan, USA.
  • Europe: June 30 to July 3rd, London, UK.

How does it work?

Vehicle classes and energy categories

The competition is split into two classes or categories. The Prototype class focuses on maximum efficiency, while passenger comfort takes a back seat. The UrbanConcept class encourages more practical designs. Cars are also divided by energy type:

  • Internal combustion engine fuels include petrol, diesel, liquid fuel made from natural gas and ethanol.
  • In the electric mobility category, vehicles are powered by hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-based batteries.

The mileage competition

Over several days, teams make as many attempts as possible to travel the furthest on the equivalent of one litre of fuel.

Cars drive a fixed number of laps around the circuit at a set speed. Organisers calculate their energy efficiency and name a winner in each class and for each energy source.

Off-track awards recognise other achievements including safety, teamwork and design.

The competition inspires the engineers of the future to turn their vision of sustainable mobility into reality, if only for a few days. It also sparks passionate debate about what could one day be possible for cars on the road.

A bit of history

The competition dates back to 1939 when Shell Oil Company employees in the USA made a friendly wager over who could travel furthest on the same amount of fuel. Since then it has expanded to two more continents, includes many energy types and sparks passionate debate around the future of energy and mobility.

See all the results of the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas here

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