When we think fuel efficient, we might think hybrid or electric and this maxes out our brains at a little over 100mpge, so how does the 3,587mpg Reliant Robin strike you?
The Shell Eco-Marathon Americas is a contest in which college and high school students compete to create the most fuel efficient vehicle. For the fourth time in five years, students in Quebec Université Laval won the prototype gasoline category. [Last year they forfeited the competition because of engine trouble.] Even at 3,587mpg, the Reliant Robin still isn’t the world’s most fuel efficient vehicle. In 2003, the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe yielded a French vehicle at 8,914mpg, which is still the world record.
No, you’d never take one of these vehicles on the road, because an accident would be beyond catastrophic, but think of the possibilities. In the UrbanConcept category, contestants are challenged to create a more roadworthy vehicle, complete with lights, steering wheel, brakes, and four wheels. This adds a lot more weight and drag, of course, and reduces fuel efficiency. Students at the Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Indiana, created a concept vehicle that took top honors in the category at 849.2mpg. Maybe we should be developing our vehicles this way, instead of on the race track.