The Eco-Marathon is an annual competition sponsored by Shell, in which student teams come together from around the world to see who can drive the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. Participants in this race range from amateurs to university teams to major motor manufacturers who design a variety of environmentally conscious vehicles to achieve the highest possible fuel efficiency. The Eco-Marathon is held around the world with international events in Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, and the USA. Click Here for more information.
The University of Alberta EcoCar team competes in early April each year, which was most recently hosted at the Sonoma Raceway in California. We compete against more than 100 teams comprised of over 1000 high school and post-secondary students from across North and South America and their energy efficient vehicles.
The Eco-Marathon has different classes of competition: hydrogen fuel cell, internal combustion, and battery-electric. During competition, cars must attain an average speed of at least 24 km/h (15 mph) over a distance of 16 km (10 miles). Our team competes both in the “Urban Concept” and the “Prototype” division for hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles. Teams in the “Urban Concept” category focus on meeting the real-life needs of drivers and are close in appearance to the cars seen on roads today. This category challenges the teams to build roadworthy as well as fuel-efficient vehicles that resemble commercially available cars with features such as a steering wheel, signal lights, and mirrors. The “Prototype” category focuses only on efficiency, without consideration for potential road applications. This leads to cars with, small, sleek, aerodynamic profiles and typically have 3 wheels.