College Students Built a Car That Gets 2,585 Miles Per Gallon

A prototype created by students proves it could be possible to go from NY to Vegas without stopping for gas.

4. 29. 16 by June Javelosa
Shell Eco-marathon
Image by Shell Eco-marathon

Fill ‘Er Up  

The idea that you could take a road trip from New York to Las Vegas, a drive that’s 2,585 miles (4,160 km) long, on a single tank of gas seems pretty impossible. But the winners of this year’s Shell Eco-marathon Americas are trying to prove otherwise. In fact, they are trying to make it so you can go this far on just a gallon.

Students from Universite Laval in Quebec entered a gasoline-powered car under the prototype category, and it combined lightweight and aerodynamic qualities while still maintaining its power. While the car only runs on two horsepower, it was evidently enough to bring the car up to speed and get it to coast with the engine off.

The students were up against over a thousand university and high school students who made up 124 teams from seven countries across the Americas, where each team was asked to demonstrate custom-built, energy efficient vehicles.

Image Credit: Shell Eco-marathon

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Test Drive

To test the vehicle, the team had to drive the car around for 6 miles (9 kms), at an average speed of 15 miles per hour. 

In addition, the car, following a sleek capsule-like form, is designed to fit a single driver, which means it’s going to be quite a lonely drive if you do plan to go on that road trip. Not to mention the fact that its current speed doesn’t currently meet highway standards.

Nevertheless, the Laval students’ winning prototype proves that it is possible to create a fuel efficient vehicle that could really go the distance.  That said, it goes without saying that this car isn’t anywhere near being commercially available.

But it is an inspiring stepping stone, and some very impressive work by individuals who are so young. So maybe try and remember this wonderful team the next time you hear someone ranting about Millennials.

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Image Credit: Shell Eco-Marathon


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