Go 1,300 Miles on One Gallon of Gas

By: | February 8th, 2014

For most of us, getting even 50 miles per gallon from a car is a dream. But for the engineering students from Brigham Young University (BYU), anything less than 1,000 mpg is of no value.

The engineering students have built a car that needs only one gallon of fuel to travel almost 1,300 miles.  The super fuel efficient vehicle was part of the SAE super mileage competition in Michigan last year.  This annual contest challenges students from various universities to build a one-person, most fuel efficient vehicle based around a one-cylinder, four-cycle engine.

As part of the competition requirements, the students have to maximize the fuel efficiency of the engine. Each team is provided with just 20 grams of fuel and has to cover a 10-mile track at an average speed of 15 miles an hour. Afterwards, the fuel tank is re-measured to see how much fuel was used and to work out the mpg capability of the vehicle.

The fish-shaped car designed by the students, weighing less than 100 pounds gets an astounding 1,300 miles per gallon. The fuel tank of the car holds just 20 grams of fuel. It has a tiny lawnmower engine that shuts off once the car reaches the desirable speed to let the vehicle glide along the track.

To maximize fuel-efficiency, the BYU engineering team added an innovative ceramic insulation and modified the engine to be electronically controlled.

This year the students are aiming even higher i.e. 2,000 mpg. Let’s hope they make it happen!

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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