By on May 7, 2010

This car won’t have a problem with CAFE rules. Around the world, Shell is conducting Eco-Marathons. The mission: Who gets the farthest on just one liter of fuel. Team Polyjoule from France’s Nantes Polytech turned a quart of gas into 4,414 kilometers, reports Das Autoshaus. If I didn’t make a mistake in my calculation, that’s 10549 MPG. More or less. Staying the whole 4,414 km in the coffin-like contraption should receive an extra prize.

The French bested the record held by the ETH Zurich. 2005, a liter got the Swiss 3,836 kilometers.

The French car is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, filled with the equivalent of one liter of unleaded. Tough luck for solar cars: A lack of sun left them in the dark.

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22 Comments on “Announcing the 10549 MPG Car...”

  • avatar

    0.0226 l/100km, damn thats low!

  • avatar

    how does the 300 pound Soccer mom fit in?

  • avatar

    You’ve got it all wrong. Soccer moms are upper-middle-class, and thus, not obese. Some are overweight, but only enough to trigger Jenny Craig purchases.

    Remember, weight is inversely proportional to income – the opposite of how things were in the old days when excess food was a luxury. When was the last time you saw a really fat millionaire?

  • avatar

    Uhhh, Rush Limbo

  • avatar

    Is there any real world practicality in this?

  • avatar

    Yes, but it’s French!


  • avatar

    The French invented the car, and now they’re leading the Shell Eco-Marathon.

    I do want to know how fast the thing was going, though.

  • avatar

    This research would be more useful it is was done on vehicles that are actually road-worthy. Once you add in all the required safety features and design a chasis where the driver isn’t in a prone position, that MPG figure will drop precipitously.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

      They started space flight with unmanned ships. You have to start somewhere. It’s obvious it’s not ready to fit 5 adults and all the safety and comfort equipment. Computers weren’t initially all that practical or flexible and existed in an dark corner of research for a long time. Now where are they?

      It’s a test bed. Do you complain about cargo capacity of a Le Mans Racers? Or the road manners of a Paris-Dakar truck?

      Complaining about research that isn’t fit for commercial consumption yet is folly and for you to not see the value in such research is just plain dumb. Especially in light of the disaster currently going on in the Gulf of Mexico, the value of fuel efficiency should be brought into stark relief. But you’d rather complain about the lack of cupholders and headroom I suppose.

    • 0 avatar

      This is great, a group of students applying their classroom studies. Learning to work together, solve problems, and create a “product” in a competitive environment. This will help all these students in their careers. Good job, keep it up. Many similar programs go on in many schools thruout the world.

    • 0 avatar

      I happen to do research for a living. I also live on the gulf. So yeah I have a certain perspective here. They basically strapped a fuel cell to one person shell. Unless there was something novel about the fuel cell, I don’t see the big deal here.

  • avatar

    I’d be happy getting half that milage

  • avatar

    Why all the discussion about research? This isn’t, nor intended to be, research. It’s a student project, and a good one, but nothing more.

  • avatar

    @ Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

    You’re reading way too much into what I wrote. I have nothing against the research, but to me it’s just as “dumb” to focus in on a single metric (fuel consumption) at the expense of other real world concerns, such as safety. People have been building vehicles like the one pictured above for decades. I think by now it’s common knowledge that if you make a make a vehicle as light as possible, force the driver to ride in a prone postion, and run on bicycle tires, your going to get incredible fuel consumption. There’s nothing new here.

    At some point you’ll have to add the weight back to accommodate even modest levels of safety and comfort; which will make that 10,000+mpg figure meaningless. Why not use a test-bed vehicle that more closely matches reality.

  • avatar

    they should do research on how to turn bad coworkers into gasoline; or something else that is limitless and abundant.

  • avatar

    The Nissan Leaf only gets 367 mpg (calculated), and it doesn’t use any fuel at all.

    So these Shell guys ought to include some overhead fuel costs. These outrageous calculations are becoming meaningless as technologies evolve and blend (Volt).

    So if I drove the Shell car 10549 miles in a year (close to my actual), then it would cost me about $3/year, right? Heh.

    And for those who complain about hauling 5 people, just use 5 Shell cars. Then your annual fuel cost is about $15.

    Obviously these calculations ignore real-world conditions, but this team has made an impressive demonstration of their technology.

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