A three-wheeled, teardrop-shaped car has won Shell’s Eco-marathon Americas competition, a yearly contest that pits teams of students against each other in a race to build energy-efficient vehicles.
The winning group, from Université Laval in Quebec, overcame technical setbacks, including excess friction short circuits, to achieve an efficiency of 2,824 miles per gallon. To put that in perspective, the prototype could travel from New York to Los Angeles on less than a gallon of fuel. And that figure is still well below the 3,587 miles per gallon the same school achieved last year. (Université Laval has won five out of the last six Shell competitions.)