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Shell Eco Marathon 2009 Lets Students Compete in Fuel Cell Cars

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.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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One comment

  1. admin

    I got a chance to go to this event on Saturday and saw some of the fuel cell cars racing. In fact, I got to go behind the scenes and see the cars torn apart and being put back together again. Most of the vehicles were tiny using bicycle wheels a lightweight materials such as hard foam for structure and seat. Much plastic was also used in some of the designs. It was a very sunny day at the racetrack and the solar cars were faster than I thought they would be. Most of the crowd was high school age, though there were a few older people like myself walking about.

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