A team of engineers from the University of British Columbia have developed a vehicle that has the ability to travel roughly 3,145 miles on a single gallon of gas – roughly the distance from Boston, MA to San Diego, CA.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Supermileage Competition took place June 9 in Marshall, Michigan. Forty teams from Canada, the U.S. and India competed in designing and building the most fuel-efficient vehicle.
The UBC design, which required the driver to lie down while navigating it, achieved 3,145 miles per US gallon (0.074 litres/100 km) — equivalent of Vancouver to Halifax on a gallon (3.79 litres) of gas — costing less than $5 at the pump.
UBC’s student team has taken first place four out of the six years it has competed, with 2006 marking the fourth straight victory. Last year the UBC team beat out 27 teams by reaching 1,600 miles per gallon (mpg).
UniversitÃ© Laval (Que.) took second place this year with a score of 1,823 mpg. Other teams represented University of Windsor, University of California, Los Angeles, UC Berkeley, Pennsylvania State University, and the Delhi College of Engineering.
Supermileage (http://www.supermileage.org) is an annual student competition that challenges students to design, build, and drive a single person vehicle (powered solely by a gasoline engine) to achieve the best fuel mileage possible. The vehicle must be powered by only an internal combustion engine, with no assistance from electric motors or human propulsion.
The UBC project is funded with support from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, AirCare, the Walter Gage Memorial Fund, and the UBC Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.