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UBC Engineers Reach Mileage Of Over 3000 MPG 625

The New Revelation writes "Physorg reports that engineers at UBC have developed a single occupancy vehicle that achieves a ridiculous 3145 MPG! From the article: 'The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Supermileage Competition took place June 9 in Marshall, Michigan. Forty teams from Canada, the U.S. and India competed in designing and building the most fuel-efficient vehicle... The UBC design, which required the driver to lie down while navigating it, achieved 3,145 miles per US gallon (0.074 liters/100 km) -- equivalent of Vancouver to Halifax on a gallon (3.79 liters) of gas -- costing less than $5 at the pump.'"
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UBC Engineers Reach Mileage Of Over 3000 MPG

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  • by Sentri ( 910293 ) * on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:24AM (#15573942) Homepage
    What is it in something useful like, say...

    rods per hogshead?

    (for all those about to find out for me: google tells me that 3 145 miles per gallon = 63 403 200 rods per hogshead)
    • Are we talking about US hogsheads or UK hogsheads?
    • by SolitaryMan ( 538416 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:29AM (#15574476) Homepage Journal
      Google tells me that 3 145 miles per gallon = 1 337.07695 kilometers per liter

      This means that in Europe, this guys would be really 1337 hax0rs :)
      • Google tells me that 3 145 miles per gallon = 1 337.07695 kilometers per liter

        Hand over your geek card imposter! Real geeks know it's

        3.14159mpg = 1337 kpl
    • by mrops ( 927562 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @09:12AM (#15575212)
      The driver of the vehical died later due to fatigue by paddling the vehicle for 3145 miles.
  • by conner_bw ( 120497 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:25AM (#15573946) Journal
    ..but does it come in SUV?

  • speed? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by x2A ( 858210 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:27AM (#15573953)
    Wonder what speed it travels for it's optimal fuel consumtion

    • Re:speed? (Score:3, Funny)

      by MrSquirrel ( 976630 )
      Additionally, how much of a tail wind did it have... and how many cans of beans did the driver eat?
      • Re:speed? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Walt Dismal ( 534799 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:14AM (#15574137)
        In EPA tests, the vehicle was found to get 0.3 mile per bean (MPB). This assumes no extra tacos were consumed by the driver and that the driver does not take Beano. Your mileage may vary depending on brand, as Hunt's is equivalent to standard, Van Camp's midgrade, Heinz is premium, and B&M Baked is only allowed within Boston city limits and not before a Celtics game. This information has been provided by the American Bean Council. Got Bean?
    • Re:speed? Results (Score:5, Informative)

      by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:38AM (#15574000) Homepage Journal
      Competition results, warning PDF []

      Indiana and a HS there too came in with high MPG, as did Laval in Quebec province.
    • Re:speed? (Score:5, Informative)

      by xstonedogx ( 814876 ) <> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:40AM (#15574008)
      According to the rules [] they were required to have an average speed between 15 and 25 mph (24-40.23 km/hr). They drive six laps for a total of 9.6 miles (15.5km).
      • Re:speed? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by joggle ( 594025 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:47AM (#15574232) Homepage Journal
        I wish they would come up with a challenge making a better car rather than a better bike. Seriously, who would buy a car that can only carry a 130 lbs (59 kg) person (actually, less than that since that weight includes clothing and gear according to the rules) 15 mph? I appreciate that they are trying to prove what is possible with small, efficient engines. But is it really a 'car' if it has the same perfomance as a bicycle?

        Also, why such a severe restriction on the engine? According to the rules they must use a specific 4-cylinder engine produced by Briggs & Stratton. Seems to cramp creativity a bit (although I guess it gives them a sponser).

        • Re:speed? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Bananatree3 ( 872975 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:07AM (#15574426)
          Why restrict to a certain engine? There are several possible reasons for this:

          One: As you said, it's advertising for one of their biggest sponsers, Briggs & Stratton.

          Two: Limiting all teams to a standard engine focuses the contest on designing a super efficient body. It gives a somewhat scientific control to the "experiment" of the race you could say.

          Three: It may (possibly) be a deterrent for the teams to not cop out and buy a super duper-efficient experimental engine from some no-name company and call it as their own.

          • Re:speed? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @09:33AM (#15575313) Homepage Journal
            "Three: It may (possibly) be a deterrent for the teams to not cop out and buy a super duper-efficient experimental engine from some no-name company and call it as their own. "

            And what's wrong with that? If a team wins using some start-up company's new experimental engine, the company with the engine gets advertising and investment, and the team gets a win. Not to mention the team winners will likely have a great shot at getting a job with that company.

        • Re:speed? (Score:5, Funny)

          by famebait ( 450028 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @04:49AM (#15574622)
          And don't get me started on those olympic running competitions. The tracks are totally unrealistic, unlike anything you'd find if you really needed to run from or to anything. And what's with those restrictions about equipment? I mean, if you wanted to get somewhere fast, you would of course use a motor vehicle, but that's forbidden. Why stifle creativity like that. Rubbish.
        • Re:speed? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rufty_tufty ( 888596 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @07:20AM (#15574890) Homepage
          You know there's a word for someone who looks at a new technology and sees that it doesn't have direct application to his life and therefore talks it down.

          Seriously this is research, they are pushing the limits as far in one direction as they possibly can with the assumption that if you research at the extreme then you'll learn things that can be applied to more mundane situations.
          What next? IBM issue a press release about new transistors based on nanotubes that go 1000X faster and you complain that because there won't be a processor available based on them available any time soon that they are wasting their time?

          Watching Karma burn in 5, 4, 3, 2 ....
        • Re:speed? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @09:35AM (#15575321)
          I supppose drag racing totally escapes you as well?

          Look, any time you optimize for a single parameter of performance, you're going to get something weird. But it allows you to push that single aspect of performance and measure it independent of everything else. That way you know what compromises you're making in that area when you make a more realistic design.

          Personally I'm amazed a vehicle can carry a person and get over 3000 MPG. It really puts the status quo into perspective.

    • Re:speed? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:51AM (#15574055)
      From the official rules:

      40.1 Minimum and Maximum Speed Requirement
      The performance run will consist of each vehicle running six laps around a 2.6 km (1.6 mile) oval test track. The vehicle must achieve a minimum six lap average speed of 24 km/hr (15 mph). This means that each vehicle will be required to travel a total distance of 15.5 km (9.6 miles) in a maximum of 38.4 minutes. The vehicle must not exceed a single lap average speed of 25mph (40.23km). This means a vehicle must take longer than 3 minutes 50 seconds to complete each lap. Vehicles must be capable of ascending a 1 percent grade and descending a 7 percent grade.

      40.2 Slow Speed Penalty
      If the minimum average speed of 24 km/hr (15 mph) is not maintained, a penalty will be assessed by subtracting from the km/liter (mpg) achieved, 4.25 km/liter (10 mpg) per second of time that the minimum average speed requirement is not met. For instance, if 39 minutes was the elapsed time for six laps, the minimum allowable time, without
      ©2004 SAE International 20 2005 Supermileage
      penalty (38.4 minutes) was exceeded by 36 seconds. The actual mileage achieved would be reduced by 153.1 km/liter (360 mpg).

      40.3 Maximum Speed Penalty
      If the maximum lap average speed of 40.23 km/hr (25 mph) is exceeded, a penalty will be assessed by subtracting from the km/liter (mpg) achieved, 4.25 km/liter (10 mpg) per second of time that the maximum average lap speed requirement is not met. For instance, if the third lap was completed in 3 minutes 12 seconds, the minimum allowable time, without penalty (3 minutes 50 seconds) was exceeded by 38 seconds. The actual mileage achieved would be reduced by km/liter (380 mpg).

      40.4 Start
      Prior to the performance run, an official fuel tank (supplied) will be filled, weighed and installed on the vehicle. The start of the performance run will begin with the vehicle being placed on the track starting line. The vehicle engine is then started, either by the driver or his pit crew. Timing for the minimum speed requirement starts when the vehicle crosses the starting line. Vehicles cannot be push started. Transmission design must be such that the engine can be disconnected from the driving wheels so as to allow the vehicle to be stationary with the engine running.

      40.5 Finish
      Upon completion of the six lap performance run, 15.5 km (9.6 miles), the timers will record the elapsed time; the fuel tank will be removed and weighed. The kilometer per liter (miles per gallon) calculation for the vehicle will then be computed, dividing the 15.5 km (9.6 mile) distance by the amount of fuel used. If the maximum allowable elapsed time has been exceeded, the penalty will be computed and subtracted from the kilometer per liter (miles per gallon) calculation.
    • Re:speed? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mrcaseyj ( 902945 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:09AM (#15574115)
      They go something like 15mi/hr. They turn the engine on and get up some speed then turn it off and coast a while. They use Briggs and Stratton four stroke lawnmower engines with custom machined cylinder heads and such. Of course the cars are basically like bicycles with aerodynamic fairings on them.
    • Re:speed? (Score:3, Informative)

      by numbski ( 515011 ) *
      Per the rules:

      "Slalom Section: Vehicle must traverse 30.5 meters (100 feet) slalom section in less than 15 seconds."

      They're using a lawnmower engine that can do up to 3600 RPM, 4 cycle. (4 cylinders then?)

      Also, section 40.1:

      "Minimum and Maximum Speed Requirement

      The performance run will consist of each vehicle running six laps around a 2.6 km (1.6 mile) oval test track. The vehicle must achieve a minimum six lap average speed of 24 km/hr (15 mph)."

      So there you have it. It has to go at least as fast as som
      • Re:speed? (Score:3, Informative)

        by smash ( 1351 )
        They're using a lawnmower engine that can do up to 3600 RPM, 4 cycle. (4 cylinders then?)

        "4 cycle" means 4-stroke, not 4 cylinder.

        If it's the engine i'm thinking off (briggs+stratton typical thing) then it's a single cylinder 4 stroke.

      • Re:speed? (Score:3, Informative)

        by MjrTom ( 68324 )
        They're using a lawnmower engine that can do up to 3600 RPM, 4 cycle. (4 cylinders then?)

        No, 4 cycle means 4-stoke ( []) engine, as opposed to a 2-stroke engine. EPA laws now forbid new 2-stroke vehicles from using the 2-stroke ( []) type engine (you usually see 2-strokes in things like chainsaws and dirtbikes - you have to mix oil in with the gas). The thing is that 4-stroke designs are much more environmentally friendly than 2-stroke
        • Re:speed? (Score:3, Informative)

          by lowrydr310 ( 830514 )

          (more HP for less gas used)

          Are you sure? Two-strokes are less fuel efficient than a four-stroke of similar size, though they produce significantly more power than a four-stroke of similar size. A 250cc two-stroke engine sucks a lot more gasoline (and the oil mixed with it) than a 250cc four-stroke, though the two-stroke makes a lot more power. The main advantages of a two-stroke is that they produce lots of power in a small package. Another nice thing is that they don't require an oil sump, which allows

      • Re:speed? (Score:5, Informative)

        by TheViffer ( 128272 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:30AM (#15574343)
        4 cycle does not mean 4 pistons. It's a reference to how many times the piston moves to make a complete "cycle". In the case of a 4 cycle, it fires once every 2 times it goes up. A 2-stroke fires each time the piston is up.

        Basically they took a Makita 54cc (3.3 cubic inches) engine off a chainsaw (capable of doing 12,000 rpm) and hooked it up to a chain/belt and used that.
    • Re:speed? (Score:3, Informative)

      by ithinkuknow ( 598474 )
      The teams that win use a "coast and burn" technique. Since the college competition requires you to use a 1.5HP briggs and stratton engine, most teams de-tune the engine and find that it's most efficient at high speeds. So instead of just running at a constant 20MPH they open up the throttle, get to a certain speed and kill the engine. Then they start up the engine and do it again.
  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:28AM (#15573956)'ve invented the bicycle!

    Chris Mattern
    • Re:Good lord, man... (Score:3, Informative)

      by SirSlud ( 67381 )
      Amusing, sure, but it should be noted before it gets out of hand that all forms of human propulsion were against the rules.

      That makes the inevitable fart jokes less witty too, just to be a pedantic hard-ass. :)
    • by jmv ( 93421 )
      Can *you* go 3,145 miles on a bicycle and drink only a gallon?
      • by 20th Century Boy ( 903797 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:05AM (#15574104)
        On meth, yes.
      • Can *you* go 3,145 miles on a bicycle and drink only a gallon?

        Because I ride a bicycle to work I can accuse people who run the same distance of "wasting energy". Perhaps in the future radical motorists will direct the same accusation at me when they do the 10km commute on 1Kj (or whatever).

  • Details? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Skynyrd ( 25155 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:31AM (#15573966) Homepage
    I read TFA, and it made no mention of speed, distance or any other aspect of the contest. The driver lies down, but how? On the stomache, or the back (with a periscope?). Were they inside to avoid being blown about (aboot?) by the wind?

    I'm assuming they didn't drive it across Canada.

  • by Jazzer_Techie ( 800432 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:32AM (#15573972)
    I'm not sure why English volume/distance measurement was (albeit correcly) switched to a distance/volume measurement in the metric conversion.

    Whatever the case, it can't be a coincidence that this gets 1337 km/L.
  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:34AM (#15573983) Homepage
    Strangely, the entire team is now missing []. Big oil had no comment.
  • Only ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Professeur Shadoko ( 230027 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:35AM (#15573985) [] These guys got 5385 km/l (that's 12,666 MPG !) in 2005.
    • by jd ( 1658 ) <[imipak] [at] []> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:17AM (#15574442) Homepage Journal
      There are fuel economy races all over Europe, Silverstone motor racing circuit being used for the British race in the series. These used to require petrol (gasoline to Americans) engines only, but in the last few years, this could be supplemented by other energy sources (but not human power). When I was still in 6th form, the winner had managed 6,500 mpg. The last race prior to introducing alternative energy saw an amazing 9,998 mpg. The races after that, to me, aren't nearly as interesting as it is impossible to distinguish on the numbers alone an improvement in design (of car or engine) from a really good, sunny day.

      For the UBC to be at a paltry third of the efficiency of European cars is not terribly impressive in itself, unless the burdens placed by the rules are substantially more severe.

      On a side-note, it occured to me some time back that very often, students living in a University city need something a little more solid than a bicycle and a lot cheaper to maintain than a full car. These vehicles would sorta fit into this category. The idea I have is for nearly-disposable cars, where it has sufficient fuel and oil to last a year or more of typical student usage. The student rents it for an academic year for next to nothing, needs to perform zero maintenance for the whole time, and then returns it. This eliminates any fuel price issues, the risk of running out of fuel when going to lectures or dates, etc.

      Minis filled this role OK, but they're a pain to maintain and are relatively expensive on fuel. The biggest drawbacks are that the fuel efficient cars are incapable of carrying any significant weight (so forget carrying the books for a day - those would weigh more than the car!) and that you can't exactly carpool with them. The lack of creash resistance is a non-issue, as minis have a habit of exploding on impact. I'd swear that the scriptwriters for the A-Team must have owned minis.

  • by elgee ( 308600 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:36AM (#15573989)
    How can you get laid in it?
  • by PornMaster ( 749461 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:37AM (#15573994) Homepage
    There's got to be a way to calculate the maximum amount traveled per gallon of gasoline cumbusted by looking at the maximum theoretical energy released by that process, and given a minimum reasonable drag/friction, and the requirement to initially get a minimum reasonable mass up to a speed reasonable to calculate the MPG.

    I'm not particularly capable of determining the inputs, nor do I know the calculation to apply, but it'd be interesting to see what an ideal might be, to measure percent efficiency attained.
  • by pixelite ( 20946 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:40AM (#15574007) Journal
    At least they wouldn't be if the oil companies didn't havev their way.

    1. Some folks at Shell Oil Co. wrote "Fuel Economy of the Gasoline Engine" (ISBN 0-470-99132-1); it was published by John Wiley & Sons, New York, in 1977. On page 42 Shell Oil quotes the President of General Motors, he, in 1929, predicted 80 MPG by 1939. Between pages 221 and 223 Shell writes of their achievements: 49.73 MPG around 1939; 149.95 MPG with a 1947 Studebaker in 1949; 244.35 MPG with a 1959 Fiat 600 in 1968; 376.59 MPG with a 1959 Opel in 1973. The Library of Congress (LOC), in September 1990, did not have a copy of this book. It was missing from the files. I bought my copy from Maryland Book Exchange around 1980 after a professor informed me that it was used as an engineering text at the University of West Virginia.]

    VPI published a paper, March 1979, concerning maximum achievable fuel economy. This paper has several charts illustrating achievable and impossible fuel economy. About 1980 I contacted the author concerning conflicts between the paper and documented achieved "impossible" mpg. The author said, "I will get back to you.". I am still waiting for his response.

    2. The book "Secrets of the 200 MPG Carburetor" is by Allan Wallace and was available, about 198(?), from Premier Distributing, 1775 Broadway, NY, NY, 10019. Page 18 has photocopies of three 1936 tests by the Ford Motor Co. (Canada) of the Pogue carburetor (U.S. Patent # 2,026,798). The worst case test achieved about 171 MP(US)G. I can not provide any other publishing information because the book is among the material stolen from me in 1986. My copy of page 18 is very poor.] (3/08/04. I am grateful to Lee Winslett for a copy of this book and the article from Colliers.)

    Collier's magazine, in 1929, published an article "300 Miles to the gallon.

    3. Argosy Magazine, August 1977, has a five-page article (Text copy here.) about Tom Ogle and the media witnessed test of the "Oglemobile". Tom Ogle, on that test run, achieved more than 100 MPG in a 4,600 pound 1970 Ford Galaxie. When I attempted to find a copy of that Argosy Magazine, it was missing from LOC files in 1980. Argosy ceased publication, I was informed, a short time after the Ogle article was published. I could not find a copy of that Argosy issue at any library within 200 miles of my home. An Editor at the company that purchased Argosy found and mailed a copy to me. While attempting to verify statements in the article, I spoke with Doug Lenzini (SP?) with the EL Paso Times. Mr. Lenzini informed me that he knew Tom Ogle, and the Oglemobile achieved more than 200 MPG. When I contacted the El Paso NBC affiliate that filmed the test run described in the Argosy article, I was informed that the person who had filmed the test had left the station and taken all the records with him.]

    A. The Ogle U.S. Patent, #4,177,779, has this statement "I have been able to obtain extremely high gas mileages with the system of the present invention installed on a V-8 engine of a conventional 1971 American made automobile. In fact, mileage rates in excess of one hundred miles per gallon have been achieved with the present invention." According to the Argosy article, a Shell Oil Co. representative asked Ogle what he would do if someone offered him $25 Million for the system. Ogle responded "I would not be interested" He later said, "I've always wanted to be rich, and I suspect I will be when this system gets into distribution. But I'm not going to have my system bought up and put on the shelf. I'm going to see this thing through--that I promise." According to an article in The Washington Post Parade Magazine, March 4, 1984, Tom Ogle died of a drug and alcohol overdose in 1981. Other articles concerning Tom Ogle can be found in the El Paso Journal, January 16, 1980, and also, The Hamilton Spectator, June 24, 1978.

    B. The Oglemobile, in simplification, ran on fumes extracted from a heated tank in the trunk (See the Ogle patent.) A very simple method of extracting gasoline fumes is described in a book, published in 1900, "Gas Engine Construction". This book was reprinted by Lindsay in 1986, ISBN 0-917914-46-5.

    An article received from AAA has additional information.

    4. There are many U.S. Patents granted for vaporizing gasoline. Some are: NASA Patent 3,640,256, General Electric Co. Patent 3,926,150, Robinson Patent 4,003,969, Harpman Patent 4,023,538, Butler Patent 4,068,638 and Totten Patent 4,106,457. Pete, "The Tree Man", was researching the Fish carburetor while staying in my home during the early 80's. He later sent me a 6 page list with more than 240 U.S. Patent numbers for vaporizing gasoline, other fuels and water.

    5. During the mid 70's, physicist Don Novak traveled all over the U.S. lecturing and teaching in his seminars how to achieve 100 MPG. He also testified, October 15, 1979, before a Wichita, KS, Congressional Committee on "Reinventing the Automobile". I have known Don for many years. Once he brought to my home, in the late 70's, two carburetors; one got more than 200 MPG and the other more than 100 MPG. I contacted a local politician, who lives in my town, and was on the Virginia Energy Subcommittee. I tried to have this politician meet Don and see the carburetors. The politician was not interested.

    Chevron Oil, 1986, offers to purchase large quantities of carburetors from a manufacturer. A West Virginia man, in 1990, achieves 58 mpg with an 8 cylinder 1968 Chrysler that used to get 12 mpg.

    6. In the London, England, Daily Telegraph, 10/20/83, on page 9, there is an advertisement for a production Pugeot Diesel that gets 52.3 MPG in urban driving. The model 205 Diesel gets 72 mpg at 56 mph.) In the Washington Post, 9/19/83, page 37(?) is the 1983 U.S. EPA fuel economy list of various vehicles. The Pugeot USA models get between 21 and 27 MPG. The Washington Times, 8/9/91, published an article, "Gas saving engines hit streets in fall.". This article is about two engines, the Mitsubishi MVV engine, and the Honda VTEC-E. According to the company spokesmen, the Mitsubishi will get up to 50 MPG; the Honda, up to 88 MPG. I visited a local Honda dealer and got a brochure on the production automobile with the VTEC-E engine, the specified MPG, as I recall, was 53 MPG. I know of no produced Honda that gets 88 MPG. I have no information on the production Mitsubishi MVV engine. I wonder if there is something that happens to fuel economy when an automobile is transported to the USA. Is it possible that these engines "un-tweak" themselves during transit? In 2002 an English newspaper article reported a 104-mpg Toyota and 94-mpg VW/Audi vehicles. In 2003 another English newspaper tested a 75-mpg Toyota diesel. Do you wonder why these vehicles are not available in the USA? You might ask your Member of Congress for an explanation.

    7. The U.S. Government supported (Grant No. DTNH22-91-Z-06014) a study of automobile fuel economy by the National Academy of Sciences. This study, "Automotive Fuel Economy--How Far Should We Go?" (ISBN 0-309-04530-4), was used by the staff of my then Congressman George Allen, to refute documentation proving that an automobile had exceeded 376 MPG. Nowhere in this "fuel economy study" is there any reference to the work of Shell Oil Co. or any other reference that could refute the conclusion of this report. The report concluded, Page 4, that a subcompact car might achieve between 39 and 44 MPG by model year 2006. Many committee meetings were held from May 15, 1991 to December 14, 1991, prior to the April 1992 publication of this report. Prior to publication of this report, I previously sent documentation to several participants of these meetings. The documentation proved that automobile fuel economies of between 49 and 376 MPG were achieved. None of the participants responded to my letters. Documentation was sent to: Jerry R. Curry, Administrator, National Highway Safety Administration, on 3/16/91; Senator Richard H. Bryan, on 3/7/91; Congressman Philip R. Sharp, on 2/18/91; Steve Plotkin, Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress, on 4/4/91; Charles Mendler, Energy Conservation Collation, on 11/2/90; Fred Smith, Competitive Enterprise Institute, on 4/16/91; Brian O'Neill, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, on 10/31/93; Clarence Ditlow, Executive Director, Center for Auto Safety, on 1/6/92. Previous documentation was also sent to members of organizations participating in these meetings, they are: John Koenig, Product planning Manager, Toyota Motor Co., on 3/18/91; Peter Clausen, Union of Concerned Scientist, on 10/28/90; John Morrill, American Council for Energy Efficiency, on 10/4/90. None of these people responded to my letters. I know that at least one of my letters was received. The Union of Concerned Scientist keeps trying to get me to support their organization.

    8. An article "Automakers Move Toward New Generation Of Greener Vehicles" was published in "Chemical & Engineering News", August 1, 1994. This article is about "The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles", a partnership between the U.S. Government and the auto industry that has a goal of an 80 MPG automobile by 2002. In 1992 a government-funded study concluded that a subcompact car might get between 39 and 44 MPG by model year 2006 (See #7 above). In 1994 the goal is 80 MPG by 2002. Is it possible that someone read the Shell Oil book? Or could someone have actually read my February 13, 1992 letter, and 95 pages of documentation, sent to then Candidate Clinton. I wrote, September 8, 1994, to Deborah L. Illman, the author of the article, and to the editor, Michael Heylin of Chemical & Engineering News, on September 11, 1994 . No response was received from them. On September 11, 1994, I also wrote to Mary L. Good, Under Secretary for Technology, (USA) Department of Commerce. I received a response from Ms. Good. It was an undated, unaddressed, form letter. I guess the fact that a vehicle could get 376 MPG or burn water for fuel would not be a politically correct finding. How could someone explain to the American people that it was necessary to send more than 600,000 of our citizens to the Mid-east to defend oil wells if this information was public knowledge?

    9. Hybrid Diesel/Electric automobiles (A Diesel/Electric locomotive uses the same principle.) The Manassas Journal Messenger, April 4, 1981, has an article about a MG sports car converted by San Diego State University. The car gets 110 MPG. The Steven R. Reed Automobile Manufacturing Corp., Newport Beach, CA, issued a press release dated February 14, 1983. This release announces the February 23, 1983 showing of the 200 MPG, two-passenger, II Millennium Cruiser at the Ambassador Hotel. The press release also states that the company will file "...a major class-action lawsuit involving a considerable number of giant American corporations within the automotive and petroleum industries, plus numerous branches and agencies of the U.S. Government responsible for regulating these companies." Don Novak informed me that when none of the major news media attended the Millennium show, the company drove the car to CBS Television, Los Angeles, and parked it on the lawn. No one came out of the building to inspect the car. Don also stated that the president of the Steven R. Reed Corp. has been in hiding for some years.

    10. Mother Earth News, November/December 1977, has an article "Can This Transmission Really Double Your Car's Mileage?". This article is about a Ford Granada modified by Vincent Carman of Portland, Oregon. In simplification, Mr. Carman removed the transmission and drive shaft from the car and bolted a hydraulic motor to the differential. He then bolted a hydraulic pump to the engine to pressurize a storage tank. The storage tank is also pressurized when the car brakes or slows down. The article states that the U.S. Post Office is interested in a whole fleet of vehicles using this principle. In 1990, after reading an article in "Federal Times", I contacted Mr. Robert St.Francis, U.S. Postal Service, who was searching for alternative fuels for use by the Post Office. Mr. St.Francis said that he had never heard of Mr. Carman. I wrote two letters, October 18 & 21, 1990, to Mr. St.Francis concerning Mr. Carman's vehicle. I received no response. Another article in Mother Earth News, March/April 1976,8(?), titled "This Car Travels 75 Miles on a Single Gallon Of Gas", is about a project by the Minneapolis Minnesota's Hennepin Vocational Technical Center that converted a Volkswagen to a system similar to that of Mr. Carman. The idea for the conversion came from a 1920 magazine article. The car, with a Bradley GT body and a 16 horsepower Tecumseh engine (The original VW engine was too powerful), achieved more than 75 MPG at 70 MPH. Could we combine the technology of Tom Ogle, 200 MPG, and the hydraulic drive cars and have a 400 MPG 4,600 pound car? On a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, they write of achievements and patents concerning a hydraulic drive truck. This site does not mention the more than 28-year old achievements of others.

    11. The St. Paul Pioneer News, August 22, 1990, has an article about a group that 11 years previously modified a Dodge half-ton pickup furnished by a local dealer. This modified truck got more than 35 MPG. Test stopped on this modification when a member of the group was told that he would receive a pair of cement boots if testing continued.

    12. Hydrogen fuel. There are many U.S. and foreign patents for extracting hydrogen and oxygen gasses from water for use as a fuel. Some Patents are: July 2, 1935, Garrett, # 2,006,676; April 3, 1945, Klein, # 2,373,032; February 25, 1975, Chambrin, French Patent Request # 75 06619; July 6, 1976, Papineau, # 3,967,589 (This is a patent for an electrical power generator that burns water); 1976, Horvath, # 3,980,053. This statement is on the Horvath patent, "This invention relates to internal combustion engines. More particularly it is concerned with a fuel supply apparatus by means of which an internal combustion engine can be run on a fuel comprised of hydrogen and oxygen gasses generated on demand by electrolysis of water".; June 28, 1983, Meyer, # 4,389,981. Mr. Meyer has at least eight other patents relating to hydrogen and oxygen gasses extracted from water for fuel. Awake magazine 4/6/1980 has two small articles concerning Hydrogen fuel for aircraft. According to one article an optimistic date for this use is 1985.

    A. Popular Science, about 1978,9(?), published an article "Hydrogen bus- could also heat its own garage". This article is about the work of Dr. Helmut Buchner of Mercedes-Benz. He is quoted "We are ready now. We could save our city of Stuttgart over one million gallons of petroleum fuel a year by converting its fleet of 300 urban busses to run on hydrogen. Heating--and air conditioning--would be free spin-offs, consuming no extra energy.".

    B. Popular Science, March 1978(?), published an article "Hydrogen -demonstrates fuel of the future". This article is about the work of Dr. Billings, Billings Energy Corp., Provo, Utah. and others. The article states that a home, all the appliances, and vehicles, can be run on hydrogen. Dr. Billings converted a Cadillac Seville for duel fuel use. This Cadillac, burning hydrogen, was in President Carter's inaugural parade. I had a photograph of Dr. Billings drinking the exhaust, water, from one of his engines.

    C. A Japanese inventor, with more than 2000 prior patents, plans to run automobile engine on water. Gulf Oil advertisement in Discover magazine, Feb.19??, concerning Hydrogen fuel. Note the statements concerning Hydrogen energy content in the advertisement and an article in the same magazine issue. Ballard Power Systems has demonstrated Hydrogen fuel cell technology for vehicles since 1997. Patents for decomposing water into hydrogen and oxygen for use as fuel are not new. See the Boisen Patent 1,380,183 granted in 1921 and a 106-year old patent for another process to extract fuel gas from water. A Google search for Aquafuel will list many sites for processes to extract a fuel from water.

    D. Do you remember the NASA 1998 Moon probe that was looking for water? The plan was to separate some water into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen would be used as fuel. Yet in 2004, the government is developing a fuel cell that will extract hydrogen from diesel fuel carried by navy ships. Does this make any sense when the ship is floating in a mixture of 66% hydrogen? Why not use the method that NASA was going to use to extract hydrogen from Moon water? You might ask your Member of Congress for an explanation. My members of Congress will not respond.

    E. A company, AEC Technology, has developed a process to extract hydrogen from water that requires no input of power. This company has partnered with UTC Fuel Cell that will use this process to run devices. One device, per the web site, will have a reciprocating engine, similar to the one in your car, generating electricity for your home. UTC Fuel Cell has furnished fuel cells to NASA since the 60's.

    F. Approximately ten years ago, I received a video tape from a company in Florida making Aquafuel. This tape, among other things, showed 4 people in a closed room breathing the exhaust from a generator burning Aquafuel. A recent goggle search for Aquafuel returned 812 "hits".

    13. Completely sealed reciprocating engines. I visited the patent office years ago, when they still had the open stacks of "shoe boxes". While there, I read the application files for the Papp patent, #3,670,494. Papp applied for a patent on his engine, and the patent office, after consultation with the old Atomic Energy Commission, refused to give him a patent because his device could not possibly work. Papp responded with test results, photographs and depositions from, I think, 16 people. Papp said that maybe the patent office didn't know how his device worked, and that they also didn't know how the atomic bomb worked, but used it anyway. This statement is on his patent "...2. To provide a two cycle reciprocating engine which does not use fuel intake valves or exhaust valves, does not require an air supply and does not emit gasses. 3. To provide a precharged engine of the character stated in item 2 capable of generating power for a period of from 2,000 to over 10,000 hours continuously or until mechanical breakdown without the addition of fuel injection of air or discharge of gasses..."

    Papp has a similar Patent 4,428,193 granted in 1984.
    Britt, August 31, 1976, has a patent, # 3,977,191, for a similar sealed engine. In the patent application file, Britt accuses the Patent Office of deliberately delaying his application to give a major manufacturer time to file on top of him.
    14. Permanent Magnet Motor. Howard Johnson was granted U.S. Patent # 4,151,431, for a motor that is powered only by permanent magnets. An interesting thing about the first page of this patent is the chart of a magnetic field VS electromechanical coupling. The chart is from U.S. Patent # 4,151,432 which has nothing to do with the Johnson patent. Science and Mechanics, Spring 1980, published an article " Amazing Magnet-Powered Motor" about the Johnson patent. The article tells of his difficulties in having the device patented. The patent problem was solved when Johnson took working models of his device to the patent office. The magazine Science 83, May, published an article ridiculing perpetual motion machines, one of them was the Johnson motor. The Science article purports to quote from the prior Science and Mechanics article about Johnson. Because had both articles, I compared them, then called the author of the Science 83 article. When I stated that the information that he quoted was not in the prior article, he hung up saying "I will not be interrogated by you.". The editor of Science 83 also declined to speak with me. Others have informed me that there are three other permanent magnet motor patents. A Japanese electrical generator, driven by a magnet assisted motor, has an efficiency of more than 300%. Do you think the electric power companies would be happy if this device were common knowledge?

    15. The Moray device. Tom Moray, in the late 20s, had a device that could sit on a kitchen table and produce 50,000 Watts of power from a field that surrounds the earth. The operation of this device was endorsed by many people. Moray's son, John, after the only copy of his father's book was stolen, wrote a book "The Sea of Energy in which the Earth Floats". See the statement concerning a meeting between Moray and a Soviet Agent in General Electric office after closing hours.) The book is about his father's work. During the early 80s, I visited many congressional offices in an unsuccessful attempt to have any Member of Congress do something about the technology hidden from the American people. When I visited Congressman Ron Paul's office, a staffer said to me "I have something that you should read, come to my residence on Saturday." This staffer gave me a letter to Congressman Paul from Tom Bearden, and the 40-page document attached to the letter. The document is a book that Mr. Bearden has written. In this book, Mr. Bearden states that the Moray device could produce 1.5 megawatts of power. Also that the Russians had adapted the Moray device to power a weapon. The weapon statement is supported by a drawing from "Aviation Week and Space Technology", July 28, 1980. Do you think that the local Power Company could justify a price increase if the power came from a field around the earth? This book was also missing from the LOC in 1990.]

    Tom Bearden, with others, obtained U.S. Patent 6,362,718 for an Electric generator with no moving parts. Michael Faraday's findings, in 1831, do not agree with current school teachings concerning generation of electricity.

    16. The Energy Machine of Joe Newman. I have spoken with Joe many times over several years. He has recently published the seventh edition of "The Energy Machine of Joseph Newman" (ISBN 0-9613855-7-7) The book is available from: Joseph Westly Newman, Route 1, Box 52, Lucedale, Mississippi, 39452, Phone # (601)-947-7174. I have no doubts that his machine works as he describes it. To learn of the problems that this man has had with "The Establishment" read his book. Joe filed suit against the U.S. Patent office because they would not grant him a patent. According to Joe's book, pages 274 to 279, the Court appointed a Special Master, Mr. William E. Schuyler, a former Commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office, to advise the Court. The findings of the Special Master were that Mr. Newman had invented a machine that had more output than input. The Court refused to accept the findings. I urge you to read this 471-page book. This machine is not "bogus" as stated by others. On February 5, 1996, I was one of several hundred people, in Mobile, AL, to see the Newman Energy Machine in operation. The machine was pumping water while running a power meter, similar to the one on your house, backwards.

    17. Cold Fusion. Despite the rejection of some in the USA, cold fusion is a going operation in other places. The monthly magazine "New Energy News", P.O. Box 58639, Salt Lake City, UT 84158-8639, has information on many successful results in cold fusion. The magazine also has information on "free energy devices".

    18. "The Energy Non-Crisis", published in 1980 by Worth Publishing Co., P.O. Box, 1243,Wheatridge, CO 80033, is written by Chaplain Lindsey Williams. (This is only one of the books he has written) Chaplain Williams was on the Alaska Pipeline during the construction and got so fed-up with the deliberate lies of the media, he came back to tour the "lower 48", and tell the truth. According to Chaplain Williams, Gull Island has a pool of oil as big as, and maybe bigger, than Purdhoe Bay. Our Government ordered ARCO " seal the documents, withdraw the rig, cap the well, and not release the information about the Gull Island find." A video tape of a speech that Chaplain Williams gave to a group at Salt Lake City, about 1980, is possibly available from: The National Center For Constitutional Studies, 1-800-388-4512. Chaplain Williams stated in a recent two-hour broadcast there is enough oil in Alaska to last the U.S.A. 200-years. The broadcast is on the Republic Broadcasting Network site .m3u []. Additional book information is here. You can read parts of his book on this site rgy/ [].

    I sent the Williams tape and a lot of other information to a previous Secretary of Energy. The response received, after a second letter, was essentially, no response. I also wrote to Dr. Bodman, our current (2005) Secretary of Energy. A response was received. If you wonder how your state legislators receive information see this document. I wrote to the authors of the document, no response.

    I hope that this information will raise questions as to why we are dependent on foreign oil. All our government has to do, to take more money from our pockets, is to have an energy crisis or raise the cost of energy. The only financial interest that I have in any of above devices is that of a concerned consumer who is tired of the deliberate lies and cover-ups.

    Byron Wine

    May 24, 1996. (Modified August 30, 2005)

    The following is not related to energy. However, you might be interested in findings concerning the Federal Reserve System (FED). The FED is not a part of the U.S. government. Your telephone book, as does a prior C&P telephone book, will list the FED in the business section, not the government section. For a legal opinion see Lewis v. United States. For information concerning the operation of the FED see Congressman McFadden's 1934 remarks. Articles by Skousen, 1980, and Larson, 1982, provide further information.

    I am grateful for an email bringing to my attention the "Act of 1871". This document requires very careful study.

    An organization "Fund to Restore an Educated Electorate" (FREE) published a listing of congressional, military and corporate members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and Trilateral Commission (TC). I wonder if it is possible that the people and corporate members listed might be responsible for our "energy problem".
    • (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:05AM (#15574105)

      Not a direct hit but close enough. p []

      There are too many automobile companies.

      There are too many motorcycle companies.

      There are too many lawnmower companies.

      There are too many gasoline engine makers... in the world... for your story to be credible.

      In addition, I offer other anti-super fuel efficiency arguments:

      Is it plausable that this technology was supressed during World War II, when the outcome of major battles depended on gasoline more than once and there was massive rationing in the states (ration coupons for gasoline, etc.)

      Is it plausible that perhaps companies composing a fraction of 1% of the economy could suppress this information from the rest of the economy which would make so much money off it (every major trucking company, every taxi company, every delivery company, etc.).

      I think the other companies have too much to looossee* for them to let such an invention be supressed.

      * I have given up trying to oppose the increasingly popular misuse of "loose" as "lose" so now I will join with them.. but of course I am way behind on having the proper number of extra letters by the new contemporary spelling of loooose so I'll be putting in even more extra o's to catch up.

    • by robbak ( 775424 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:54AM (#15574403) Homepage

      This guy has the common misconception that having a US patent is evidence that your invention actually works. Or even exists.

      A US patent simply means that you were able to confuse an undertrained patents clerk.

    • by David Off ( 101038 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:13AM (#15574746) Homepage
      > In 2003 another English newspaper tested a 75-mpg Toyota diesel.

      That is probably the Yaris. I have one and it does go a long long way. It is also pretty fast with a top speed of 110 mph and good handling.

      I generally fill up around once a month, which is nice with diesek prices in France around 1.1 euros per liter (close to $7/gallon - gas/petrol costs more). I generally get around 550 miles on a seven point five gallon tank... most driving on country roads with some motorway driving to 80 mph. Journeys usually around 30-50 miles. If I drove a bit more frugally I could probably get over 100 mpg. I do very few short journeys though - generally walk or take my bicycle.
    • by Ancient_Hacker ( 751168 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:16AM (#15574748)
      Let's look at a few facts:
      • During WW2, the British protected their island with various fighter planes, many powered by an internal-combustion engine called "the Merlin". (Incidentally, it wasnt named after the magician).
      • The Merlin engine had been under intensive development for several years, eventually, due to improvements in carburation, supercharging, and internal strength, going from under 1,000 HP to over 2000 HP.
      • But it's specific fuel consumption didnt improve much if at all.
      • Now it's hard to imagine a strong enough conspiracy, when your nation is on the verge of being overrun by the Huns, to still hold down improvements in engine economy and efficiency.
      • Same thing happened later on to the US. Our bombers had to go over Germany without fighter escoerts, because the P-51 fighter planes, also powered by Merlins, did not have the range to stay with the bombers all the way to Germany and back.
      • Lots of bombers were shot down over Germany, lkosing ten US airmen per plane.
      • Much later, drop tanks were developed to increase their range. Note they didnt just tune up the engines, instead it took over a year to develop the drop thanks, pipes, pumps latches, and stability tests to increase the P-51's range.

      Same thing could be said of Israeli tanks and planes. They were attacked many times, and they didnt drag out the 200MPG carburetors either.

      So let's just retire the 200MPG stories, okay?

  • by rufusdufus ( 450462 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:41AM (#15574014)
    This vehicle looks just as unrealistic as the solar cars they race in Australia, the main difference being that the Solar cars use no fuel at all! Whats the point? This stuff will never be used on a massive scale.

    Its time these challenges insert ergonomic requirements into their competitions. Start with requiring the cabin to have a certain size, with reasonble seats,leg room, and storage. In this way they can start tackling the real issues with fuel consumption.
  • Sounds scary (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shippy ( 123643 ) * on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:45AM (#15574030)
    While I think efforts like this are great, it's likely a fairly flimsy vehicle due to its super lightweight construction. Getting in a wreck with another vehicle at almost any relevant speed would probably cause great harm, especially if the occupant is lying down in a forward-facing stomach-down orientation (which is unclear from the article).
  • This is a big deal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Baldrson ( 78598 ) * on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:51AM (#15574057) Homepage Journal
    Fair contests like this really separate the performers from the bullshitters. Its why you basically have to drag the government kicking and screaming to fund fair contests like this by embarrassing the hell out of them with stuff like the X-Prize.

    When you look at the race results [] a few things stand out:

    1. The winning entry beat the first runner up by a whopping 72%.
    2. The only "big name" university represented in the 22 entrants (all listed in the results) is UC Berkeley and they were seventh place.
    3. The only university outside of North America came in 18th place, and IIT, the darling of mainstream media like CBS "60 Minutes" didn't even compete (not that Caltech, MIT or CMU are any better for not having entered). Even so, congratulations to Dehli College of Engineering [] for competing.
    4. The winning high school team from Evansville, Indiana, had the second best mileage out of all contenders including the universities.
  • by dino213b ( 949816 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:12AM (#15574127)
    ..of power to weight ratios. A bigger vehicle with a small engine will not be as efficient as with a mid-size engine. On the other hand, same small engine will be more efficient in a smaller vehicle. If you follow that trend to a vehicle size of a skateboard, you get some "incredible efficiencies," but they are unrealistic as they cannot be applied to a modern day concept of vehicles. Having said that, it's important to recognize that there are better and worse engine designs out there; it is not just a simple matter of weight and power ratios when it comes to the consumer.

    This headline is wishful thinking. I suddenly got reminded of the "500 ghz chip" news story from earlier this week. Most people started drooling over that headline thinking a new CPU speed barrier has been reached, when in actuality the speed referred to a single switching transistor running at ridiculously controlled conditions.

    Of course, the 100 mile per gallon carb lives in every last romantic one of us.
  • by howajo ( 707075 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:58AM (#15574255)
    I can say in all sincerity that I support MORE dangerous vehicles. We have, for the most part, eliminated the healthy and positive phenomenon of natural selection. I think that there SHOULD be a significant penalty for commiting stupid acts.

    With that in mind, I suggest that this ultralight vehicle be produced, but instead of a tiny 54cc engine, it should have about 500 hp. Also, it should have a bitchin' loud sound system, and old school bag phone, no seatbelt, and a shelf to hold your #5 combo. Maybe a coozy for your beer too.

  • by Terje Mathisen ( 128806 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:32AM (#15574351)
    A similar competition was recently held in Europe, contested by student teams: athon-en []

    The winning entry ran on biofuel (Ethanol) and achieved 2885 km/liter, which should correspond to about 6800 miles/gallon:

    (Warning: PDF file) ads/sem_press/Nogaro%20May%202006/press_release_se m_210506.pdf []

  • by pesc ( 147035 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:33AM (#15574353)
    Any nerd knows that fuel consumption is measured in square meters (m2 with the 2 superscripted).

    You have 0.074 liters/100 km which is:

    0.074dm3 / 100km = 0.000074m3 / 100000m = 0.00000000074m2 = 0.74mm2

    So the correct unit is 0.74 square millimeters!

    If you imagine a 100 km long pipe filled with 0.074 liters, the area of the cross section would be 0.74 square millimeters. ;-)
  • 'Official' response (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:51AM (#15574393)
    Dear esteemed /.'ers

    I'm a member of the team (Charlie Yao) and thought I'd give some clarifications to what seems to be common questions.

    Methodology of competition:
    Basically, you're given a topped off fuel bottle and you run 6 laps around the track (with other vehicles running simultaneously). Afterwards, they remove the fuel bottle and measure the amount you consumed (by weight). Do some math, you get your efficiency.

    Speed requirements:
    The rules state between 15-25MPH. In practice, with 6 laps, you're given a time frame in which to complete it. If you go out of this time frame, you're penalized heavily. The max time is 38.4 minutes. The min single lap time is 3min 50s. Obviously, we care more about the former.

    Driver orientation and details:
    The driver lies down on his back, feet first. He still has his head tilted up so he can see... imagine standing and looking at your feet. Only drivers of a max height can fit since our vehicle is specifically designed for one. The minimum weight of the driver is 130lbs and ballast is added otherwise.

    On typical vehicles, quoting km/l gives unwieldy numbers (so I hear, I'm neutral) so instead they use litres per 100km. For us, the reverse applies... 1337km/l vs. 0.074 litres/100km. And yeah, it was amusing to get 1337 performance. FYI, you can do multiple runs on the track (one team got in 8 while we got in 4) and our mileage varied from about 2900-3145 MPG. They take your best result.

    Safety and practicallity:
    No, it is not safe on the road... not with typical road vehicles. It is relative of course since those who choose the more fuel concious cars get screwed by SUVs. If everyone drove small cars, it wouldn't seem as dangerous would it? There actually has been an incident in the past where a student has been killed while testing on a highway. I believe it was in Ontario and maybe by U of T but I'm not certain. As for practicallity, no, it's not... but neither is any car designed for performace. Look at an F1 car and tell me where you're going to fit your family.

    Info missing from TFA:
    1) Not everyone is as inquisitive as /. ...many would just look at the intro and conclusion sections of a report. We didn't provide too much detail so as not to bore.
    2) We have to keep some of our secrets away from our competitors :)

    I'll check back to this thread every so often and try to reply to the best of my ability. I'd just like to add that perhaps the biggest value is educational. There's been a lot of innovation especially since we don't have the largest budget. Teams that have to travel substantially shorter distances to the competition have trailers for their vehicle, tools and extra cars for their members. We travel in one minivan and literally duct tape the car to the roof. If we can't find some more sponsors for a trailer... maybe we should get some from 3M. Also, there are teams overseas that get 3-4times our mileage... basically professional teams with relatively unlimited resources. They also generally don't have engine requirements.

    Either way, it's been a great ride. It's eery to be on /. but we're honoured. Keep the discussion (criticism) flowing.


    P.S. Unfotunately the team pic didn't work out in my favour. I was using my shirt to hide oil stains from working on the car but it looks like I really need to go to the washroom :P Ah well.
  • by PhotoGuy ( 189467 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:22AM (#15574456) Homepage
    It is a bit misleading using an MPG rating, in such an unrealistic situation; as well as a bit senational to say "Vancouver to Halifax". I somewhat doubt these specialized units would have the ability to climb the grades to, say, cross the rockies, much less an average hill in Nova Scotia. (They'd probably do well on the prairies, though.)

    Impressive technology, nonetheless. I would like to see a similar competition where certain torque requirements were met, to carry a certain weight up a certain grade, during parts of the competition. As the mileage differences between small cars and trucks/SUV's attests, potential power comes at a great cost in mileage, even when that power isn't being utilized.

    This is why hybrids can do well; they switch to a mode with less power (batteries/electric) for casual driving, and flip to a more expensive means (gas), when more power is required. The UBC unit sounds a bit similar but on a much less powerful scale; the gas engine comes on now and then when a bit of power is required, and then it flips to its other mode, inertia, for as long as it can.
  • That's nothing ! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr Europe ( 657225 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:23AM (#15574459)
    That's not even near the real World Champions.

    See the latest Shell Eco-Marathon results: ads/sem_results/Nogaro_May_2006/Race_classificatio n.pdf []

    And please note the column "Best test / Meilleur essai" is in the kilometers/litre.
    Thus the winners result 2885 km/litre eguals about 6834 miles/gallon !
    (Gallon=3,79 litre, mile=1,6km)

    Rules: ads/sem_events/nogaro/rules/rules_2006_revised.pdf []
  • How about 9023 MPG?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mambru ( 224456 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @04:29AM (#15574593)
    Last year at the Shell Eco-marathon [].

    My university took part this year with very limited money, only undergraduate students working on the project and they achieved around 1200 MPG. Minimum speed for the competition is set at 30 Km/h. The external design is very similar to the one depicted.

    Not that impressive. In the european competition they would have finished at the 20+ position.
  • I can top this... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sydbarrett74 ( 74307 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `47tterrabdys'> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @04:54AM (#15574633)
    I know of a single-occupancy vehicle design that gets an infinite number of miles to the gallon of petrol -- it's called a bicycle.
  • by kozumik ( 946298 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @05:58AM (#15574721)
    ... but people need to get real about these competitions they have every year.

    Every year American auto makers fund for a pittance several of these types of competitions. The results are always the same: some college kids design a vehicle that weighs practically nothing, runs on solar or such, and is totally impractical. Usually little more than a bicycle or go-cart. This has been going on much the same for decades.

    And every time the results are the same:

    1) US automakers get their names associated with some supposedly high-tech, innovative, and efficient technology as part of a low cost PR campaign in the form of a tiny grant to students.

    2) The media is obligated to cover it as part feel good fluff: see, we're still leading the world in useless technology despite everything being made overseas! Aren't our students bright?!

    3) Said automakers recruit off the various campuses engineers who then proceed to design SUV having absolutely nothing to do with afore mentioned efficient technology.

    4) US makers continue declining.


    Wouldn't it be great if these students for once asked "how about granting us money to make something f'ing useful or hiring us to build what we made for a change?"
  • The scoop... (Score:5, Informative)

    by RimfireShooter ( 749073 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @08:39AM (#15575074)
    Almost all designs have drivers lying on their backs. When I was in college, we were the only team to have a head first design with the front axle (w/2x700mm bicycle tires) above the drivers torso, arms in front, and his feet went on either side of the rear drive wheel. Although there is no express rule prohibiting it, the people running the competition thought our design was unsafe (huhh) and forced us to retire the chassis after 2 years.

    Having driven before I can say that they pick the smallest guy on the team (must ballast up to 150lbs I think) and cram him in. No air flow, hot, loud, and no fun - definitely no DVD player. You burn to get you speed up, then coast. You can run as many times as you want and take the best run, you just have to wait for your rotation.

    As mentioned by previous posters, Briggs is a sponsor so teams are requires to use a Briggs&Stratton engine. Most teams only use the case (required), replace the shell bearings with balls, de stroke it and sleeve it to a smaller displacement (we used a Honda piston & rod), make a new head with overhead valves (the Briggs is an L head). During are first years we used a modified stock ignition and aftermarket carb but by my senior year we had a pretty sweet ECU with fuel injection (we re-calibrated a GM ECU). Most drive trains at the time were chains to a pillow block with a centrifugal clutch. The total engine/chassis weighed like 80lbs.

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!