Students top 1,200mpg in Supermileage vehicle design competition

Students top 1,200mpg in Supermileage vehicle design competition

Five schools post better than 1,000mpg in Eaton-hosted annual contest.

June 16, 2014

Marshall, Michigan – Power management company Eaton hosted an engineering competition in which five college teams achieved more than 1,000mpg in specially designed vehicles during an SAE Supermileage event held June 5-6 at Eaton’s Proving Grounds.

This is the 35th year for the competition, which challenges teams to build a one-person, fuel-efficient vehicle based around a one-cylinder, four-cycle engine.

“It is truly amazing what these student teams were able to accomplish,” says Tom Stover, chief technology officer for Eaton’s Vehicle Group in Galesburg, Mich. “The Supermileage competition helps them develop practical engineering, team building, and leadership skills that they can use to succeed in their careers, including making tomorrow’s cars and trucks more fuel efficient.”

A team from Université Laval in Quebec, Canada, was the overall winner with a total score of 1,533 (1,145mpg plus a design report score of 388). The team won $1,500 and will be recognized at the SAE 2014 Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress held Oct. 7-9 in Rosemont, Illinois.

Another Quebec school, École De Technologie Superieur, finished second with a score of 1,517 (1,134mpg plus 383 points for its design report), followed closely by Brigham Young University’s tally of 1,514, which included the best overall fuel economy run of 1,211mpg – marking the second straight year Brigham Young has had the most fuel efficient vehicle in the competition. These schools received $1,200 and $900, respectively.

Rounding out the top five were teams from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst with 1,485 (1,142mpg plus 343 design report points) and Penn State University – Behrend College with 1,410 (1,020mpg plus 390 design report points).

A team from the University of California – Los Angeles won the design report portion of the competition with a score of 408. The University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign team won the best newcomer.

Hosted by Eaton since its inception in 1980, the Supermileage event is designed to generate public awareness of high-mileage fuel economy and to promote automotive engineering as a career choice for students. Participants are encouraged to use advanced materials and technologies, as well as their design creativity and imaginations, to get the most out of their vehicles over the 9.6-mile course – six times around Eaton’s 1.6-mile test track.

The winning team at the first Supermileage competition in 1980 achieved 558 mpg.

Source: Eaton Corp.