In the recent Shell Eco-Marathon Americas, whereby high school and university students are competing to build an efficient vehicle, the winner was the University of Toronto. Unlike other teams which generally take an off-the-shelf model and modify it, the University of Toronto team was the only team which built the car from the scratch.
It was the third time that the University took part in the competition; however, it was the first win for the team in the competition. The team built a gasoline-powered vehicle which was able to travel about 3421 miles per gallon on a track in Detroit. Prashanth Murali Krishna, the co-team leader and aerospace engineering graduate student said that the first year they had a basic car, an aluminium chassis, a badly designed aeroshell and an off-the-shelf engine. He further added that last year they improved a lot of things, changed a lot of designs, built and designed their own engine.
With this kind of competition, it gives a general idea that the future of transportation would be good. Apparently, Krishna did not have any plans to enter automotive industry after graduating this year; however, some of his team mates have plans to be part of the industry and hopefully taking their fuel efficiency expertise with them.
Other winner from this year’s competition such as a hydrogen fuel cell car from Colorado’s Wheat Ridge High School which is able to travel 151 miles per kWh, a battery electric vehicle which is able to travel 450 per kWh which was built by students at Indiana’s Mater Dei High school as well as an ethanol-powered car from University of Colorado Boulder which is able to reach 842miles per gallon.