52 Student Teams To Unveil Fuel Efficient Vehicles At Shell Eco-Marathon At Auto Club Speedway

Shell Eco-marathon

While most high school and college students are busy writing papers and preparing for exams, a select group from across the Americas are taking what they've learned in the classroom and putting it to practical use - building high-mileage, fuel-efficient vehicles for the 2009 Shell Eco-marathon Americas. 

After months of coordinating designs and constructing vehicles, 52 student teams - including nine high schools and 32 universities - are in the final stretch as they work to complete their vehicles for the 2009 challenge taking place April 16-18 at Auto Club Speedway. Not only are these students looking to break the nearly 3,000 miles per gallon (1,275 kilometres per liter) record set in 2008, they are providing the world a glimpse into the fuels, technologies and transportation of tomorrow.

This year, student teams will participate in either the "Prototype" or "UrbanConcept" categories. For the Prototype category, teams will enter futuristic prototypes - streamlined vehicles that focus on maximizing fuel efficiency through innovative design elements, such as drag reduction. For the UrbanConcept category, new to the Americas event this year, teams will enter more "roadworthy" fuel-efficient vehicles. Aimed at meeting the real-life needs of drivers, these vehicles are closer in appearance to the higher-mileage cars seen on roads today. For both categories, teams can use any conventionally available energy source - including fuels such as diesel, gasoline and liquid petroleum gas, as well as alternative fuels such as hydrogen, biomass and solar.

The Shell Eco-marathon is a global mileage challenge and forum for current and future leaders who are passionate about finding sustainable solutions to the world's energy challenge. The event challenges students to design, build and test eco-friendly vehicles that travel further using less energy. From vehicle design to financing, student teams manage their projects from start to finish. The winning teams in both the Prototype and UrbanConcept categories receive a grand prize of $5,000 for their school. And this year, Shell will also have several "off-track" awards, including the "Safety Award," "Technical Innovation Award" and "Eco-friendly Award" among others.

The 2009 Shell Eco-marathon Americas roster contains 52 teams from nine high schools and 32 universities from North and South America - including Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States.

For more information on the Shell Eco-marathon Americas, please visit www.shell.com/ecomarathon.

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