Seven teams from Canadian universities are conducting final test runs to super fuel efficient vehicles they have designed and built. Their aim is to compete and set new mileage records in traditional fuel, fuel cell and solar powered vehicles at the Shell Eco-Marathon 2013, to be held in Houston, Texas from April 4-7.

After many months of preparations the teams from across Canada will soon be shipping their competing vehicles to the Shell Eco-Marathon track in downtown Houston. This annual event challenges students to compete with other schools in their energy-efficient vehicles to see who can travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy.

The Canadian teams, including a team from three-time winning school Université Laval, are going head-to-head with more than 140 student teams from across North and South America. Last year’s winning team from Evansville, Indiana, achieved nearly 900 kilometres per litre and these Canadian students are hoping to beat that and other records.

“We have students building manned vehicles that are achieving as much as 900 kilometres per litre of fuel,” says Lorraine Mitchelmore, Country Chair of Shell Canada, “New records are being set each year and I’m rooting for a Canadian team to bring home the top prize again.”

Matthew Sponiar, team leader and final-year University of Alberta student said, “We’ve been working on a new design for 12 months. We are not only looking at making our car zero emission through the use of a hydrogen fuel cell, but we’re also using the newest in sustainable materials such as bio-fiber, bio-resins, and recycled carbon fiber.”

“The University of Toronto Supermileage Team is a group of bright, hard-working students who are passionate about energy efficiency in transportation;” said David Sinton, Director of Institute for Sustainable Technology and Professor at the University of Toronto.  “Their work in preparation for the competition has been a ‘supermileage’ effort in itself, requiring high output in the context of resource constraints. Time is tight but they are pulling the elements together.”

Held globally in the Americas, Europe and Asia, Shell Eco-Marathon is both a challenge and an educational platform that fosters the development of leading technology for greater energy efficiency and transportation performance.

For more information go to http://www.shell.com/global/environment-society/ecomarathon/events/americas.html

Notes to editor

This year’s Canadian teams are from University of British Columbia (two teams), University of Alberta, University of Toronto, Université Laval, Dalhousie University and the University of Moncton.

From designing the initial concept to building their innovative designs, this event challenges future scientists and engineers to take their fuel-efficient vehicles and compete with other schools to see who can travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy.

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