In a few short weeks, a broad spectrum of audiences will convene in Detroit, Michigan, April 21-24, 2016. Together they will participate in four days of activities designed to address how society can use human ingenuity, technology, collaboration and pragmatism to learn about, discuss and act on the energy transition.

Shell Eco-marathon Americas is one of three events of an annual global series and brings together:

  • High school and university teams (approx. 129 teams) from Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and the U.S. competing in the Mileage Challenge;
  • Thought leaders, Shell business representatives, government officials, academics and local business leaders at Powering Progress Together; and,
  • Residents and visitors to Detroit, including over 6,000 schoolchildren, to the Shell Eco-marathon Experience.

It’s more than going over 3,587 mpg

Yes, 3,587 miles per gallon (mpg) is the current Americas record held by Université Laval; however, last year a nail-biting drama unfolded and included a last-minute win from the University of Toronto edging out their Canadian rival with a run of 3,421 miles per gallon. Laval finished with a respectable 3,365 mpg and still holds the all-time record for the competition in the Americas. After designing, building and testing their UrbanConcept or Prototype vehicles for nearly a year, the mileage challenge is the teams’ final chance to make their vehicle “roadworthy” and to achieve ultimate energy efficiency (see last year’s results here) on the downtown Detroit street circuit. While the actual event comes and goes, planning, fundraising and participating in external activities continue year-round.

Following the 2015 event, the University of Michigan team showcased their vehicle to crowds at the Detroit Grand Prix. In June, the 2015 winning team, the University of Toronto, headed west to be a part of the Shell V-Power NiTRO + Fuel Launch at Jay Leno’s Garage and enjoyed a private tour by the man himself.

Maybe you saw the two TV commercials featuring teams from Duke University (go behind-the-scenes ) and Northern Illinois University showcasing the future scientists and engineers? “Yes, the teams participate in the event itself, but there’s so much more to being a contender than building a vehicle,” explained Shell Eco-marathon Americas General Manager Pam Rosen. “As the months go on, all of these student teams balance the heavy weight of school work and life with the add-ons of designing, building and testing their vehicle plus fundraising, attracting media attention to grow local support, practicing safety values and much, much more.”

It’s not your parent’s science fair

Last year’s event drew more than 13,000 attendees and even more are expected for 2016 at Detroit’s Cobo Center. Guests are invited to a festival-like atmosphere that exhibits the fun of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields. Interactive exhibits are designed to improve understanding of energy sources and their related issues – and perhaps inspire career choices later on in life.

Shell Fuel scientists will showcase Shell fuels, lubricants technology and GTL technology and participating in "Punk Science" fuels and lubricants demonstrations on the main stage. Plus, the Dual Fuel Car; the Deepwater Virtual Reality experience and the Shell Simulated Lab are just a few additional examples of how Shell businesses take part in Shell Eco-marathon.

Other opportunities for visitors to discover, think, create, make and learn will be provided by Shell businesses like Marine, Aviation, Unconventionals, Alternative Energies, Hydrogen, LNG for Transport, as well as products and interactive experiences from external partners. Additionally, roughly 19 makers will showcase a variety of STEM, artistic and hands-on displays and activities and will feature local crafts and small businesses in the area.

The Shell Lubricants team recently launched a Truck Design Challenge for Detroit-area students and Great Lakes-area residents had the opportunity to enter the Shell Great Lakes Innovation Competition with those winners being announced at Powering Progress Together on April 21st.

It takes a village

Shell Eco-marathon acts as a catalyst for collaboration and conversation about the global energy challenge and brings many global and local partners together to support it.

In Detroit and the Great Lakes area, Shell’s brand flourishes through existing or new relationships with organizations like Team Penske, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, Hitachi, The Henry Ford, C-STEM, the Society of Automotive Engineers, Delta Airlines, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Metropolitan Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Motor Cities National Heritage and Rock Ventures to name a few, as well as global partners in innovation Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), HP Inc., Linde, Michelin and SwRI.

Invite nearby family and friends with the details below:

Shell Eco-marathon Americas

April 22-24, 2016

Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan


One company cannot solve the world’s energy challenges

If we are going to meet rising energy demands, we need energy from all sources and that includes the energy of people, too. “One company cannot solve the world’s energy challenges but by bringing together such a wide audience, the process of moving towards a cleaner energy future becomes possible – you have all of the right components to turn thoughts into actions,” says Niel Golightly, Vice President External Relations, Shell Oil Company.

Through Shell’s support of STEM education for our future innovators and by working in collaboration with governments, other companies, NGOs and the general public, Shell Eco-marathon plays a part in the energy transition by encouraging ingenuity, creativity and innovation to meet rising global energy demand with cleaner and more efficient sources.

What’s New For 2016?

The Driver’s World Championship in London!

For the first time in Shell Eco-marathon’s 30-year history, the world’s best UrbanConcept teams from the Americas, Europe and Asia will compete to find the most energy-efficient driver at the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

More details here

More useful links and quick facts:

Shell Eco-marathon started in Europe in 1985 and came to the Americas in 2007. First three years were in Fontana, California. Following four years in Houston, Texas, the event debuted in Detroit, Michigan in 2015.

Follow Shell Eco-marathon on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

See photos from past events on Flickr.


More in Media

News and Media Releases

News and Media Releases - All media releases published by Royal Dutch Shell plc this year, and archived releases from the past six years.

Submit an inquiry

Use this form to contact the media relations team.

Archived Feature Articles

2016 feature articles

2015 feature articles

You may also like

Investor Centre

Keep up to date with our share price, quarterly results and upcoming events.

Annual reports and publications

The 2015 Annual Report and Form 20-F, the 2015 Sustainability Report and the Investors' Handbook are available on our global website for online reading and PDF downloads.