May 4, 2016

Contact: Amy Hewes

Cal Poly Supermileage Vehicle Top-Scoring American Entry at Eco-Marathon

Team’s Gasoline-fueled Prototype Recorded 1,215 Miles per Gallon

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Achieving 1,215 miles per gallon, Cal Poly’s gasoline-fueled prototype vehicle was the top-scoring American entry and placed third overall at the 10th annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas, a competition focused on energy efficiency, not speed.

The event, held April 22-24 in Detroit, drew more than 1,000 students and a record 124 teams from seven countries to see which ultra-energy-efficient vehicle would travel the farthest using the least energy. First and second place were claimed by Canadian teams, the Université of Laval in Quebec and the University of Toronto.

Teams entered one of two vehicle categories. The Prototype class, which is for futuristic, streamlined vehicles, such as Cal Poly’s entry, and the UrbanConcept class, which focuses on fuel-efficient vehicles aimed at meeting the real-life needs of drivers. On the track, the cars were driven 10 laps, for a total distance of six miles, at an average speed of 15 miles per hour.
Cal Poly Supermileage team members credit their use of telemetry, a technology used to transmit data in real time, for much of their success this year.

“We integrated a telemetry system into the vehicle that collected all of the car's data and streamed it over the Internet,” said electrical engineering senior Alex Pink (Glendora, Calif.), vice president of the club and lead electrical engineer. “It was a huge benefit. We could watch the car’s GPS location and data live as the race was happening, allowing us to quickly diagnose and fix any issues that popped up.”

Members of the Cal Poly Supermileage team also included Dorian Capps (Maplewood, New Jersey), mechanical engineering senior, president and powertrain lead; Sean Michel (Torrance, Calif.), mechanical engineering senior, treasurer; Chad Bickel (Valencia, Calif.), electrical engineering graduate student and testing lead; Eli Rogers (Torrance, Calif.), mechanical engineering graduate student and chassis lead; Lucas Rybarcyzk (Benicia, Calif.), mechanical engineering junior and steering lead; Mikey George (Stateline, Nev.), mechanical engineering senior and manufacturing lead; Kevin Bickers (Longmont, Colo.), aerospace engineering senior and aero lead; and drivers Laura Kawashiri (Laguna, Calif.) and Zoe Tuggle (Columbia, Tenn.), both mechanical engineering majors. Faculty advisors for the team are Joseph Mello, professor of mechanical engineering, and Art MacCarley, professor of electrical engineering and in bioresources and agricultural engineering.

The Shell Eco-marathon is held annually in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

In announcing this year’s 10th annual event, organizers recognized four universities — Cal Poly, Cedarville (Ohio) University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Indiana) and UCLA — for having participated every year of the Americas competition. Cal Poly’s distinction as the first winner of the Shell Eco-marathon Americas was also acknowledged.

Shell Eco-marathon Americas will return to Detroit and the Cobo Center for a third consecutive year April 28-30, 2017.

Related links:
Cal Poly Supermileage Facebook
Cal Poly Supermileage Team’s Dispatches from Detroit


Photo: The Cal Poly Supermileage team with the Ventus II, which placed third at the 10th annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas, held April 22-24 in Detroit (photo by Shell International). Pictured from left: Will Sirski, John Thomsen, Lucas Rybarczyk, Chad Bickel, Mikey George, Kevin Bickers, Aaron Feinstein, Laura Kawashiri, Alex Pink, Finley Marbury, Zoe Tuggle, Dorian Capps, Jesse Cartland, Justin Miller, Mike Bolton, Shota Watanabe, Eli Rogers, Huy Nguyen, Caleb Kelsay.