Shell Eco-marathon Americas: April 22 – 24th, 2016

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] The futures best and brightest take to the track in a no holds barred competition for efficiency domination!

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – April 9, 2016

    It is not about speed, it is about absolute efficiency.

    The Shell Eco-marathon is a unique competition that challenges students from across the globe to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car. With three annual events in Asia, Americas and Europe, student teams take to the track to see who goes further on the least amount of fuel.

    After a year of preparation, bright young students with varying backgrounds have just a few days to battle it out on urban circuits, driving self-built cars for supreme energy efficiency.

    Vehicle Classes and Fuels

    The competition is split into two main classes. The all-out hyper efficient Prototype class focuses on maximum efficiency, while passenger comfort takes a back seat. The Urban Concept class encourages more practical designs.

    Cars are also divided by energy type:

    Internal combustion engine fuels include gasoline, diesel, liquid fuel made from natural gas and ethanol.

    In the electric mobility category, vehicles are powered by hydrogen fuel cells and Li-Ion based batteries.

    The Competition

    Over several days, teams make as many attempts as possible to travel the furthest on the equivalent of 1L of fuel.

    Cars drive a fixed number of laps around the circuit at a set speed. Organizers calculate their energy efficiency and name a winner in each class and for each energy source.

    Off-track awards recognize other achievements including safety, teamwork and design.

    The competition inspires the engineers of the future to turn their vision of sustainable mobility into reality, if only for a few days. It also sparks passionate debate about what could one day be possible for cars on the road.

    Shell Eco-marathon History

    The Shell Eco-marathon's history stretches back more than 75 years. In 1939, a group of Shell scientists based at a research laboratory in Wood River, Illinois, had a friendly bet to see who could drive their own car furthest on one gallon of fuel. That year’s result? An astounding for the time 49.75 mpg!

    Since then it has expanded to two more continents, includes many energy types and sparks passionate debate around the future of energy and mobility.

    The Shell Duel Fuel Charger


    What? Shell just hired me to drive their one-off Dual Fuel Charger from Texas to Detroit next weekend.

    For those that do not know what a Dual Fuel Charger is, it is a unique 3.6L V6 equipped Dodge Charger with one fuel rail fed from a tank filled exclusively with Shell V-Power NiTRO+ Premium fuel. The Shell V-Power NiTRO+ fuel tank is on the left side when looking from the front into the engine bay.


    The other fuel rail is fed from a tank filled with numerous competitors Premium fuel as I drove over 7,500 miles around the country last year. Both fuel rails had to stay within a heavily engineered and monitored +/- 1 psi of one another throughout the duration of the drive.

    Looking into the trunk from behind the Duel Fuel Charger, I refueled this car multiple times with competitors Premium fuel in the left tank and Shell V-Power NiTRO+ in the right.


    Along with the two fuel cells surrounded by a safety cage, there was a trunk mounted fuel vapor sensor with a low percentage of LEL that would trigger an alarm in the front passenger compartment, two extinguisher systems with both an automatic and manual function incorporated plus a protected sump below that could hold 120 percent of both tanks contents in case both were to magically breach at the same time.

    My final destination was Jay Leno’s Garage in Burbank, CA where we opened up the intakes and scoped the internals in front of a large crowd of onlookers. The attached picture and results spoke volumes.


    The left side of the picture is a single intake valve and intake fed from the Shell V-Power NiTRO+ tank. The right pic shows a valve and intake fed from the competitors Premium fuel tank. All the valves on the Shell V-Power NiTRO+ side looked just as pristine with essentially no change from the day I drove the Charger out of the garage. All the valves and the intakes on the competitors Premium fuel side were coated with deposits and looked like the one shown. The intakes from both sides were absolutely pristine when the car was fueled for the very first time. Over the course of just a few thousand miles, the deposit accumulation began on the competitors Premium fuel side.

    Shell unfortunately did not allow me to publish the numerous competitors’ names I was filling up on the non-Shell Premium fuel tank. Another well-known journalist was along for almost 2,000 miles of the journey witnessing numerous fills and detailed recording of the refueling process. All the competitors Premium fuels were brands you have either filled with or know of depending what region of the country you are in.

    Along with the Dual Fuel Charger, Shell usually has a number of big hp cars – last year Hennessy brought in a 1,000+ hp monster – along with a quarter mile of interactive energy displays for children and adults.

    All the while numerous fuel classes - Gasoline, Ethanol, Diesel, H2 and Electricity - of hyper efficient prototypes and urban concepts are driving around downtown Detroit to achieve unheard of levels of efficiency. This occurs on the exact streets that Henry Ford was driving when perfecting his own automobiles over 110 years ago.

    2016 Shell Eco-marathon Americas

    For those in the Detroit area, the free to attend and open to the public Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2016 takes place on the streets of downtown Detroit, MI, the “Motor City”, on April 22-24, 2016.

    Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2016
    Gord, TheStepChild and ALS like this.
  2. vangonebuy

    vangonebuy Well-Known Member

    Nice article.
    Really 2 for 1.

    Shell's eco challenge which has been going on for 75+ years. Wow!
    A remarkable achievement in its own.
    The NCAA of fuel economy.
    So much can be learned from these vehicles. More like bicycles than autos now.
    Wish they still raced production cars too.
    Maybe a senior league someday. (I'm not getting any younger)

    Then there is their dual fuel Charger....
    What a great tool for comparisons.

    ??? A question ???
    What is the difference of fuel economy from Left bank to Right?
    Let us know Wayne.

    I now buy gas at Top Tier gas stations.
    Never knowing the difference in fuels before.

    I'm going to fill up at Shell today.
    xcel likes this.
  3. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Well I can confirm that at least my old Volvo (97 960) runs great after a bottle of Techron and a full tank of Shell Premium.

    I usually just fill with the cheapest high test I can find and on a whim since the low fuel light was on,
    I decided to see if the Shell premium would actually make the car run better.

    I can say after one tank Oh Hell Yes the car runs like a clock.

    As far as fuel mileage goes I haven't checked if it increased or not, but at this point I can say the car runs a whole lot smoother.
    xcel likes this.
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    HI Vangonebuy:

    Lot of stuff to ponder here indeed!

    I cannot say what the FE difference was between the Shell V-Power NiTRO+ tank and the Competitors tank but there was a significant difference in Shell's favor. I just cannot explain why?

  5. Any of the leads you were working pan out for the Eco Marathon?
    xcel likes this.
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi James:

    Nope. :(

  7. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    Those photos of the intake valves are pretty cool!
    xcel likes this.
  8. Bummer.

    I am available for one day of the weekend, Saturday or Sunday if you want a goofy tag-a-long.
    xcel likes this.
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Mike:

    Changes ones opinion about gasoline fuel for sure!

    Shell was test marketing a Diesel called Diesel FiT that had a similar but not the same detergent formulation in it to keep our diesel intakes clean too. It was available in Plano, TX and Seattle, WA IIRC. Not sure if they are still test marketing it or not?

    James, I will be driving through on Monday afternoon and working the rest of the week. :(

  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I have a secret super cool gift related to this story for the first ten people that reply to this thread and immediately after send me a PM with their name and address. You have to promise me you will use Shell V-Power NiTRO Plus with it... Hint Hint. :)

    I leave for San Antonio on Friday morning at 02:00 am PST on Friday morning so it has to be completed by 08:00 pm tomorrow afternoon.

    Lee Moon and BillLin like this.
  11. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Hi Wayne,

    Please count me in. Great way to kick off the "driving season." To encourage greater participation, I will relinquish to the eleventh person replying.

    Good luck, Everyone. :)
  12. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Wayne count me in also. And yes I promise to use Shell Premium in my Volvo always.
    The car hasn't run this well in years so obviously the Shell V-Power NiTRO Plus I have in it has to be to doing something to make that happen.

  13. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    I'm in! If this super secret gift works up in Canada. I already use V Power Nitro + in my bike, it seems to like it.
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    4 down, 6 to go. :)

    I will be hitting the USPS later today.

  15. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I'm not sure if I sent the PM correctly. I started a "conversation" ? But I guess you figured it out, Wayne.
  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Edwin:

    Your package is addressed and I will mail it out this afternoon. :)

  17. Lee Moon

    Lee Moon Active Member

    This is so cool! Thanks, Wayne!
    xcel likes this.
  18. Ckrusch

    Ckrusch New Member

    Love this! We need girl power! :)
    xcel likes this.
  19. SLPilot

    SLPilot Member

    Count me in please! PM sent.
    xcel likes this.
  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Lee, Claudia and Colin, got them and they are all shipped!

    Lee Moon likes this.

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