The University of Toronto Supermileage team won this year’s Shell Eco-Marathon Americas in Detroit, Michigan last weekend, achieving fuel efficiency of 3,421 miles per gallon (US) – 0.0682 L/100 km – in the competition.
To put that figure in perspective, it's about 100 times better than what can be expected from a current compact car.
It's the third win in a row for a Canadian team, but the first for the U of T, which squeaked out the win on the very last run of the event on the 1.4-kilometre track to upset the team from Université Laval.
Laval was the winner of the past two events and won five out of six previous years in the Prototype Gasoline category. U of T finished second last year.
“Even on that last run I don’t think most of us believed we would come in first, we just thought we might improve,” says Mengqi Wang (ElecE 1T3, MASc 1T6), co-president and electrical lead of the Supermileage team. “It was literally the last possible
This is the third year the Supermileage team has competed in the Shell Eco-marathon. Last year it won a technical innovation prize for its custom-built engine, the only custom engine in the entire competition.
The Supermileage team comprises 25 undergraduate and graduate students from U of T Engineering, and is supervised by Professor Kamran Behdinan of the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering faculty.
Wang and Murali both say they can’t wait to realize the many improvements they have in store for next year’s Eco-marathon when the competition returns to Detroit.
The international event, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, drew 113 teams from more than 1,000 universities and high schools across the Americas, including participants from Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States.
In addition to the dominant gasoline category, teams entered futuristic vehicles running on diesel, ethanol, electricity, compressed natural gas, gas-to-liquid fuel and hydrogen power.