Automotive

Canadian team gets 2,098 mpg in supermileage competition

Canadian team gets 2,098 mpg i...
The University of Laval has won the SAE Supermileage competition five times in eight years
The University of Laval has won the SAE Supermileage competition five times in eight years
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The University of Laval has won the SAE Supermileage competition five times in eight years
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The University of Laval has won the SAE Supermileage competition five times in eight years
This year, the The University of Laval's car achieved a fuel efficiency of 2,098 mpg (0.11 l/100km)
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This year, the The University of Laval's car achieved a fuel efficiency of 2,098 mpg (0.11 l/100km)
The University of Laval reused its vehicle shell from last year, enabling it to focus on other areas for refinement
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The University of Laval reused its vehicle shell from last year, enabling it to focus on other areas for refinement
The University of Laval's team benefited from having last year's driver walk the track with the new driver to provide guidance
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The University of Laval's team benefited from having last year's driver walk the track with the new driver to provide guidance

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.

The University of Laval reused its vehicle shell from last year, enabling it to focus on other areas for refinement
The University of Laval reused its vehicle shell from last year, enabling it to focus on other areas for refinement

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.

Source: SAE International, Alerion Supermileage

5 comments
Milton
Awesome feat, but what's the point? "powered by the same iso-octane fuel" "single-cylinder and powered by a four-cycle engine" We see it time and time again: "1,000+ mpg gasoline vehicle"... But where are the real-world results? I get the feeling big oil companies sponsor events like this to give some sort of false-hope... If you really want to see ICE fall on its face, then you would need to open up the competition to EV's (both HEV's and BEV's), introduce minimum weights, and minimum occupancy that better reflect an actual car: (perhaps start with something minimal, but still believable: 1,500 lbs, 4 passengers (?) ) and a $1,500 dollar prize for first place!?
Bob809
Milton, almost what I was going to say. With all the news about this and that for better MPG/L per KM, one would think that by now there would be Mile/KM munching fuel sipping vehicles for all. The reason the fuel companies sponsor these events is so they can bury the knowledge of these promising 'devices' in so called development cycles or just store them along with all the other tech that would have us all off using the ICE to power our vehicles. It's a sad world we live in where these huge companies are destroying our home for their profit. When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. Cree Prophecy
barrettjet
Agreed. To make this meaningful open it to all power sources and real world requirements. Four passengers but no weight limit. The best, most economical, safe vehicle wins !
Danny
It seems a very good learning project for engineers interested in product development within very specific constraints. But I agree Big Oil's role in this is not altruistic. Danny
Bob Stuart
Could we PLEASE have some numbers, like average speed? How about a technical detail or two as well? If nothing else, these cars do prove that payload can be over 50% on land, and that's a start on a return to sanity.