As part of the Shell Eco Marathon competition to design a fuel efficient car, high school and college teams are gearing up to see who can go the distance with the least amount of energy.
One team in particular has created a "supermileage" car that is set on running 3,000 miles on one gallon of fuel -- or less. Students at Cal Poly conducted their final test on "Lamina" last Friday, according to the ABC affiliate, and are on target for making their goal. ABC has more from the team on how they created such a vehicle and how driving technique is a factor in efficiency:
Materials engineering student Ann Peters says it's Latin for "blade" and they got the idea from a kitchen knife.
Lamina goes between 10 to 25 miles an hour. Peters says, "We use a burn and coast method with this car we'll get up to speed and then kill the engine and then coast for as long as possible."
The ideas this award winning team uses may one day be used on consumer models. Peters says, "You wouldn't go so drastic as a car like this but all the concepts that we apply here can be applied elsewhere in normal cars."
According to National Geographic, the car was cut out of 6-pound high-density foam and weighs all of about 70 pounds total. National Geographic explains that the team developed an "external skin" to bear the majority of the load, instead of a heavier internal frame.
Watch footage of the car in this Fox News report:ABC reports that for Lamina to reach its goal, it will need to run on a s0da-sized fuel tank for about 24 minutes around a six mile track.
Cal Poly's Supermileage Vehicle Team -- composed of mechanical, material, aerospace engineering and computer science majors -- will compete against at least 50 other teams to break the current record of 2,564 MPG on Thursday in Houston, Texas.