Saving at the Pump

by Public Relations Office - Cedarville, OH

With gas prices on the rise, the pressure to find alternative fuels and improve fuel economy just keeps increasing. To encourage creative research on these issues, Shell held its Shell Eco-marathon™ Americas competition in April to see which engineering students could come up with the best “supermileage” on their self-designed and self-built vehicles.

Ready for the challenge, 10 Cedarville engineering students and their advisor, Dr. Larry Zavodney, headed to California for the competition. The Cedarville students had designed and built three sleek cars, all made to run frugally on regular automotive gasoline. Cedarville was the only school to enter three cars, and on their first runs, all three broke the Cedarville supermileage record set in 1995.

In competition against schools such as California Polytechnic, Rose-Hulman, Purdue, and Penn State, Cedarville University’s Gold Lightning II (right) took fourth place, achieving 1,135.3 miles per gallon. To put this into perspective, the car could have driven to California on less than two gallons of gas! Gold Lightning (middle) took seventh place with 897.9 mpg, and Slipstream (left) achieved 732.8 mpg and ninth place.

The team continued on to Marshall, Michigan June 7-8 for the SAE International Supermileage® competition. At the Eaton Corporation Marshall Proving Grounds, Gold Lightning II took second place with 1,240 miles per gallon. The competition included 32 schools from the U.S., Canada, India, and Bahrain. Visit the Cedarville team’s blog at for the latest updates.