Canadian team gets 2,098 mpg in supermileage competition

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The University of Laval has won the SAE Supermileage competition five times in eight years(Credit: Alerion Supermileage)

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Students from Canada have designed and built a car that is capable of achieving a fuel efficiency of 2,098 mpg (0.11 l/100km). The team from Quebec's Université Laval (University of Laval) was competing in the 36th SAE Supermileage competition. It is the university's second straight win at the event.

The University of Laval has actually won the competition five times in the past eight years. Indeed, in previous years its Alerion Supermileage team has achieved even higher fuel efficiency figures, including 2,488 mpg (0.09 l/100km) in 2010 and 2,757 mpg (0.09 l/100km) in 2009. Even those figures, however, remain a way off the world's most fuel efficient vehicle, ETH Zurich's hydrogen-powered PAC-Car II, which achieved 12,666 mpg (0.02 l/100km) in 2005.

Unlike the PAC-Car II, all vehicles competing in the SAE Supermileage competition are powered by the same iso-octane fuel. The competition, held at the Eaton Corporation Marshall Proving Grounds in Marshall, Michigan, looks for the highest fuel-efficiency over a 9.6-mi (15.4-km) course and participating teams are also awarded a score for their design. Cars must be single-person, single-cylinder and powered by a four-cycle engine.

The University of Laval reused its vehicle shell from last year, enabling it to focus on other areas for refinement, including the clutch system, electronics and fuel line. In addition, the team benefited from having last year's driver walk the track with the new driver to provide guidance.

Elsewhere, Lawrence Technological University won the newcomer award, Brigham Young University won the best design execution and endurance awards, Concordia University's design was the closest to the team's predicted fuel economy, and California State University - Los Angeles was awarded best demonstrated overall team attitude.

As a result of its overall win, the University of Laval was awarded US$1,500 and will be recognized at the SAE 2015 Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress in October.

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