Shell Eco-Marathon Day 1

A very busy day in Fontana, California, attending Shell’s Eco-marathon Americas. About 44 teams from 6 high schools and 29 universities across the Americas came today to challenge each other on whose fuel-efficient, low carbon emitting vehicle has the highest mileage.

One team even came from India, where their car got stuck in LA customs. Fortunately it arrived today just in time for the race. Shell said it had to scramble to prove to customs that the car would not be used for commercial purposes.

You can watch this video clip as the drama unfolded when team Stealth from Chitkara Institute of Engineering & Technology finally unveiled their car to their competitors.

Stealth team’s car was designed with an innovative four-link steering mechanism which has complete reversibility and is equipped with a muffler to cut down sound pollution. It’s spark plug in the engine at the exhaust port dramatically reduces the waste of fuel and hydrocarbons.

Shell said students this year are looking to break the nearly 3,000 miles/gal (1,275 km/liter) record last year.

According to our tweeter friend Shell ecomar, the first day’s results brought Laval University [prototype combustion, gas] with 2622.2 MPG; Penn State [prototype fuel cell, hydrogen] with 1776.4 MPG; Purdue University [prototype solar] with 4614.2 MPG, and Mater Dei High School [urban concept, gas] with 380.3 MPG.

The prototype entries include 28 vehicles powered by combustion engines, five by fuel cell/hydrogen technology, 3 by LPG (liquefied natural gas), 3 by solar power, and 2 by diesel fuel.

The urban concept entries include 2 vehicles powered by combustion engines and one by solar power.

You can read some of the other highlights of the event from Shell’s website or you can also watch my attempted slideshow accompanied by Beethoven’s symphony no. 9 (the only music available in my work computer)…

Stay tune for more updates and twitters tomorrow!

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