Announcing the 10549 MPG Car

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
announcing the 10549 mpg car

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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4 of 22 comments
  • Juniper Juniper on May 07, 2010

    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.

  • Gettysburg Gettysburg on May 07, 2010

    @ 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.

  • Stationwagon Stationwagon on May 07, 2010

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

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on May 07, 2010

    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.