All-time winners from Université Laval (Canada) take the first-place prize in the Prototype Gasoline category at Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014, achieving 2,824 miles per gallon.

The Urban Diesel, UrbanConcept, running on diesel, competing for team Tech Eco-Car from Louisiana Tech University, Louisiana, makes its way around the track during Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014, Sunday, April 27, 2014 in Houston.

The Elroy, UrbanConcept, running on gasoline, competing for team Mater Dei Supermileage from Mater Dei High School, Indiana, United States, during day two of the Eco-marathon Americas 2014, Friday, April 25, 2014, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. The students beat their previous record from 2013, when they achieved 901 miles per gallon.

The Archetype, Prototype, running on hydrogen, competing for team UCDenver from University of Colorado Denver, Colorado, makes its way around the track during Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014, Saturday, April 26, 2014, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

Niel Golightly, vice president, communications, Shell Oil Company, waves the flag during opening ceremonies of Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014, Friday, April 25, 2014, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

The Prototype Gasoline vehicle competing for team BYU SMV from Brigham Young University, Utah, at opening ceremonies during Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014, Friday, April 25, 2014, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

Students pose for an image before opening ceremonies during Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014, Friday, April 25, 2014, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

The Indy, modeled after a vehicle in the Indiana Jones movie. The UrbanConcept, running on diesel, competing for team Raiders of the Lost Spark from St. Paul’s High School, Louisiana, on the track during Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014, Sunday, April 27, 2014, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

The Electric Motor City Cub, Prototype, running on Battery Electric, competing for team Electric Ignatian Ignition from University of Detroit Jesuit High School, Michigan, is adjusted in the paddock by a team member at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014. Shell Eco-marathon Americas will move to the team’s hometown of Detroit in 2015.

Teammates celebrate results in the paddock during Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014, Sunday, April 27, 2014, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

The 59 Fiat 211SC, UrbanConcept, running on diesel, competing for team Super Chargers II from Clear Springs High School, Texas, United States, during day three of the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014, Saturday, April 26, 2014, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

2014-05-05

Co.Exist

8 Incredibly Efficient Cars That Drive Thousands Of Miles On Just One Gallon—Designed By Students

The winning entry in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas, a competition that challenges undergrads and high-schoolers to build fuel-efficient vehicles, got an amazing 2,824 mpg.

If you're feeling down about the state of the environment, there are few things more heartening than to check out the winners of the annual Shell Eco-Marathon Americas. The competition challenges teams of high-school and college students to build incredibly energy-efficient vehicles that are powered by everything from gasoline and fuel cells to electricity and solar power.

More than 100 teams competed on the marathon's Houston racetrack this year, but repeat winner Université Laval once again took the prize for best mileage, its entry clocking in at 2,824 miles per gallon. The vehicle, dubbed the Alerion Supermileage, nearly lost due to electrical problems. But it won out in the end, even though Université Laval achieved a much higher fuel mileage—3,587 mpg—last year.

Other impressive teams included the No Spark Plug Allowed team from Sullivan, Indiana, which set a record for diesel vehicles in the competition at 1,899 mpg; the Tatonkatoo team from Boulder, Colorado, which hit 1,771 mpg with an ethanol vehicle; and St. Paul’s School from Covington, Louisiana, which built a seat in its diesel vehicle out of kombucha (seriously). One team made a 3-D printed steering wheel, another built a computer system that provides real-time wheel speed and wind resistance data, and yet another was made out of ultra-light carbon fiber materials.

Check out more of the competitors in the slideshow above.

[Images: 2014 Shell Eco-marathon Americas via Shell Eco-marathon / Flickr]

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