PROVO, Utah (ABC4) — In a modern example of the tortoise and the hare, Brigham Young University students competed in an international competition geared toward distance over speed, and won.
In preparation for the Shell Eco-marathon, BYU engineering students created a vehicle able to travel 1,915.83 miles on a single gallon, according to a press release. While the car can only travel a maximum of 25 miles an hour, it is able to drive the distance spanning from Provo to Niagara Falls using one gallon of fuel.
The Eco-marathon held four races, with BYU’s Supermileage Team competing against students from North and South America. The team took home the trophy for the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the Americas, with the runner-up 100 mpg behind them.
This was the first time the BYU Supermileage Team competed in the eco-marathon since before the pandemic four years ago, and while the outcome exceeded expectations, it was not without challenges.
Before the competition, the vehicle experienced a range of issues, starting with an engine problem requiring an entire vehicle rebuild. The challenges continued on the track ranging from a flat tire to faulty starter mechanisms, the press release said.
Regardless, the team won first place in the internal combustion engine division. Other divisions included battery electric, urban concept internal combustion engine, and urban concept hydrogen.