The Shell Eco Marathon America 2009 is going on right now in Fontana, California and let’s students from across the nation compete with very high MPG cars. In 2008, the winning car was from Europe and it was able to squeeze out 7,955mpgs.
This year, some high school students are racing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles trying to top out the other gas sippers. Some sophomores from Cicero-North Syracuse High School (C-NS) in New York are trying to win the $2,500 grand prize with their 3-wheel fuel cell vehicle.
Each racer drives seven laps around the Auto Club Speedway at 15 mph and when crossing the finish line the fuel mileage is calculated. Corporate donations helped the students to build the $8,000 hydrogen car including fuel cell and parts.
A couple years ago, I had talked about the 2007 Shell Eco Marathon and how the students at Los Altos Academy of Engineering drove their hydrogen fuel cell car to a North American record of 1038 mpg. Now, the C-NS students don’t have match this feat. It’s the experience that counts since this group will be our next hydrogen fuel cell engineers.
The Urban Concept Car is a new category for this year’s competition. No matter what the outcome the ride itself for these students will make memories that will last a lifetime.