HOUSTON – Université Laval won the Shell Eco-marathon Americas in Houston after a tight race with the University of Toronto. Université Laval’s Alérion Supermileage team took top honours in the competition by achieving 1,200 kilometres per litre (km/l). With that kind of fuel efficiency, the Alérion Supermileage vehicle could travel from Toronto to Montreal and back on less than a litre of gasoline. 

The University of Toronto, in only their second year of competition, kept the race close using a custom designed and constructed engine. Ultimately, however, Université Laval, winner of five of the previous six Shell Eco-marathons, brought home the top prize of US $2,000. 

“Our team is very excited with the results of the weekend,” said Laval team captain Audrey Lainé. “Initially we had issues with our engine, but we came together as a team to fix it and are extremely satisfied. The University of Toronto and Mater Dei High School had very close scores to our team, which made the weekend even more exciting.”

Other top achievements for Canadian schools included: 

  • The University of Toronto brought home multiple off-track awards and kudos from spectators and participants alike for being the only team in the competition to design and build their own engine.  The team received the Technical Innovation award for their Prototype - Gasoline vehicle, UT2, and the Penzoil Tribology award for demonstrating in a structured and applicable way, the use of lubrication engineering principles to improve their vehicles’ fuel efficiency.  Each award came with a US $2,000 prize.
  • The University of Alberta EcoCar team from Edmonton, Canada, won a US$2,000 first place prize in the Urban Concept – Hydrogen fuel category with their vehicle, Steve, which achieved 29.6 km/kWh. 
  • The E-Volve team from Université de Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke, Canada, won a US$2,000 first place prize in the Urban Concept – Battery Electric fuel category with their vehicle, E-Volve, which achieved 325 km/kWh.
  • Team E-Volve was also granted the “Perseverance and the Spirit of the Event Award” for demonstrating their spirit and overcoming any obstacles the team faced to make it to the event netting them an additional US $2,000.

“We look at Shell Eco-marathon as a way to spark a passion for engineering among young people, as well as fuel the conversation around future energy challenges,” said Wolfgang Warnecke, Shell Chief Scientist Mobility. “Each year we see new technologies that have been developed by these bright young minds, and we hope someday to see these innovations make their way into everyday vehicles.”

2014 marked the eighth Shell Eco-marathon Americas.  After five successful years in Houston, next year’s competition will take place in Detroit, Michigan.

Notes to Editors:

Shell Eco-marathon is a global program that challenges high school and college student teams to design, build and test the most energy-efficient vehicles. With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, this innovation competition pushes future scientists and engineers to travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. Visit www.shell.com/ecomarathon/americas to learn more about this program.

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