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April 21, 2012
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Kids make vehicle that gets 300 miles per gallon

:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012
Teenagers, obviously with access to real teachers and resources, have created a one seater that can get 300 miles per gallon.

If kids in school can do that why is it impossible for the auto industry to improve their own fuel efficiency?

More importantly, these contests should illustrate the need for larger education budgets (efficient spending, quality control, real programs etc) and the need to make sure our youngest generations are mentally equipped for the future.


KYTV in Springfield, Mo., reports a car designed by students at Aurora Junior High School gets 358 miles per gallon. The red roadster seats one, has three small bicycle wheels and starts with a pull cord. The steering column is similar to a bicycle's to turn the two front wheels. The car was designed as part of the Missouri SuperMileage Challenge.


* The car was not allowed to go over 30 mph per contest rules. The vehicle must also be able to make a turn within 35 feet of turning radius.


* The engine must be a 4-cycle engine made from the factory of a brand name such as Honda or Briggs & Stratton. Basically, the engines are from lawnmowers or even gas-powered trimmers.


* Unleaded fuel must power the lightweight vehicles. The engine can max out at six horsepower.


* For the 2012 contest, there were two divisions. The first was the stock division with unaltered factory engines. The second was the experimental division in which engines burn ethanol or blended fuels.


* The Aurora Junior High School team achieved the 358 miles per gallon rating over a 10-lap run. One run was calculated to have 437 miles per gallon.


* The Aurora team took first place. The junior high team's accomplishment was set apart due to the fact the annual contest is for high school teams.


* The entry fee for the Missouri SuperMileage Challenge was $5 to cover the costs of trophies and fuel. This year was the seventh annual contest to demonstrate how cars can get extreme gas mileage.


* This was the fourth year in a row a team from Aurora won the event. In 2011, the Aurora Advertiser reported the SuperMileage students from Aurora High School won the experimental division using B20 biodiesel to get 275 miles per gallon. The junior high team placed second out of 14 cars in 2011 in the stock division with 158 miles per gallon.


* The Missouri SuperMileage Challenge is held every spring in Warrensburg. The event is sponsored and sanctioned by the International Technology Education Association. There are similar competitions held in Minnesota, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.


* SAE International sponsors a college-level event for nearly two dozen teams from the U.S. and Canada. The contest is similar in scope to the high school level. Teams must design a vehicle that gets the best gas mileage from factory engines donated by Briggs & Stratton.




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Devious Comments

:iconherbaldrink:
HerbalDrink Featured By Owner May 15, 2012
It's not quite that simple. Really, they need investors and the investors wil have to be able to see that it's profitable too, and a lot of changes will have to be made so that it can be marketed. Some of Nikola Tesla's inventions would have been brilliant but they weren't considered marketable at the time.
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:icondj0hybrid:
DJ0Hybrid Featured By Owner May 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Why can't we make this? Oh where to begin. I know! Let's start with what the Federal Government requires (and not anyone else.)
First off, the car must be capable of handling collision. This includes t-boning, head-on, and rear collision from different size vehicles (say what you want, but some of the biggest pickups are going to be staying in agricultural areas for a long time) as well as rolling. So you can't really skip out on a strong material. The only light weight that I can think of it carbon fiber, but that is expensive and is a pain to take care of (a lot more than the average driver is willing to accept.)
There must be a fully functional seat belt. Light seatbelt systems are extremely uncomfortable as you either have to get a custom mold or else they cut back on a lot of cushioning. Either way, you aren't relaxing in light seats.
The car must sit so high. How high? I'm getting away with about 4-5 inches stock, I heard you can get to 3 outside of New Jersey and California. If you know anything about car physics, then you would know that sitting higher causes more drag which is something the car must get past (a lot of professional race cars may not even have an entire inch from the ground.)

Now, let's talk of what the overage consumer wants.
Obviously, they probably want some kind of roof. Ignoring convertables (they tend to be heavier,) that is quite a bit of extra weight you have to add.
Traction would be nice. I mean, it is really annoying when your tires spin out at the slightest preassure of gas. So you need at least some width to your tires. The problem is that with more width means more friction the car must defeat to even roll.
AC units suck fuel efficiency, even just leaving the air conditioning is not good on milage (and rolling down windows is worse after about 35 mph.)
More than likely an individual wants more than one seat for their significant other or good friend that they are offering a ride to. This doubles the seatbelt weight. Even more likely, people want room for an entire family to sit comfortably.
Trunks, you'll use them eventually and they need space, so that is more weight.
Leg room and head room is important for tall people, which means that everything must be further apart, which makes the car a bit bigger. If you can't do this, tall people will simply prefer pickups which have to exist for the agriculture business.
With all required weight, I would appreciate if my car can get over some hills at 75 mph just outside of Denver, Colorado. Because life is too short to spend 5 hours of traveling when it should be in half.
This doesn't include other this like sound proofing (more weight,) a bigger truck (more weight,) and any more sporty options that people highly desire somtimes.

With that said, I offer three cars:
First, there is the typical Smart Fortwo, weighing in at 1,600 lbs and a fuel efficiency of 36 mpg, the car has recieved decent crash ratings with issues of poor control over head movment (the dummy hitting the steering wheel) as well as spinning 450 degrees in the air when hit by a Mercedes C-class. As can tell by images, the car only sits two people. Not good for families. [link]
Next, let's try the Toyota Prius. Unlike our little Smart car, the Prius has been given 5 stars in general with issues with pedestrians (small tires, man...) Fuel efficiency is about 50 mpg (beating the Smart car,) which isn't bad. So the weight? 3,000 lbs. (Hmmm...) [link]
Now, I would offer information on the Aerial Atom, but here is Top Gear: [link] That is your bare bone car that happens to have a bigger engine and tire (you almost need thoses tires at light as it is) than really needed, have fun.
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:icondefaultking:
defaultking Featured By Owner May 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
My bike has a theoretically-infinite range, and it runs on burritos and Thai food.
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner May 13, 2012
So is the Thai food producing a biological byproduct that increases speed?:P
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:icondefaultking:
defaultking Featured By Owner May 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The best part is that I don't have to take my bike in for emissions testing.
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:iconscottahemi:
ScottaHemi Featured By Owner May 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"If kids in school can do that why is it impossible for the auto industry to improve their own fuel efficiency"

1. because the auto industry builds cars, this machine is not a car it's more of a motorized Velomobile or Cyclecar.

2. and [link] 99mph top speed, 250mpg, seats 2, and is a real car. to bad it'll cost an arm and a leg...
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:iconredmarlin:
redmarlin Featured By Owner May 12, 2012
Basically what everyone else has said - there's no way oil companies would allow for their profits to fall.
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:iconsvenler:
Svenler Featured By Owner May 12, 2012  Professional Photographer
Four-seater with 117 mpg at a top speed of 105 mph: [link]
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012
Wow! Now if only that vehicle were comparable to an actual car, I'd care!
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:iconyyfcukyy:
yyfcukyy Featured By Owner May 12, 2012
+1, wake me up when we can get infinite MPG
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
Me too
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:iconkiwi-punch:
Kiwi-Punch Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012  Student Digital Artist
You're forgetting that if every auto maker were to suddenly start making more fuel efficient cars, the oil industry would collapse. They need money to stay afloat, and if every car were suddenly using 300 miles per gallon plus engines, there would be no need for as much oil as we consume now.
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
The oil industry would survive, the profits would be reduced, but oil is used in many fields besides fuel
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:iconkiwi-punch:
Kiwi-Punch Featured By Owner May 12, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Okay, yeah, I missed that part. However, what if oil were completely replaced? What then? Still, it's not like we're replacing oil anytime soon with all the Republican nut-jobs wanting to keep their Hummers.
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner May 13, 2012
I'm not sure the goal is to replace oil, just reduce dependence and usage so the resources lasts longer
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:iconkiwi-punch:
Kiwi-Punch Featured By Owner May 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Definitely. Reducing oil dependence can stop a lot of conflict as well. Think about it. What resource is the most fought over? Oil.
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:iconkinoc-kun:
Kinoc-Kun Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
1 word, Exxon.

There have been multiple attempts to put a fully electric car on the market, even one that could use alternative fuels to make the car go. The issue is that if this happened, the gas companies' profits would plummet, so they have always quashed the research or paid them off.

We will never have a vehicle like that, it would end the 1%'s reign of wealth
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
I know
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:iconwolfyspice:
WolfySpice Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I think the biggest problem there is safety. And test conditions. Can't go over 30mi/h? Max of 35ft turning radius? To put in all the safety requirements; to give it more performance; to make it go faster; to add more seats... all that extra weight...

It's a great learning experience to be sure, but to conflate that with current car manufacturing? Completely different league to compare efficiency.
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:iconironhold:
Ironhold Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
The car you described wouldn't be permitted on the road; the government has set minimum standards for automobile safety, and such a vehicle almost certainly doesn't meet them.

In contrast, even the lightest of vehicles capable of meeting the requirements tend to be rather hefty. For example, a Yugo 45 ([link]) still manages to tip the scales at over 1,800 pounds. The heavier a vehicle is, the less fuel-efficient it is.
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:iconvisionoftheworld:
VISIONOFTHEWORLD Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
Additionally, there is the problem of weight and fuel economy, which Defense2 explained and is the reason there's a ceiling to how much fuel economy you can actually get with a small car and still have it be safe.
Consider the SmartCar. How smart (!) is it to drive in something that little among other vehicles?

Ultra-light micro-cars have been tried before, even in the 1950s. Consider the tiny Brutsch Mopetta, it got something like 100mpg way back in 1957.
But how safe is something like this to drive? Look at the photo of the driver talking to a guy in a big rig!
[link]

(I used the Czech website because it has that truck pic, it's the only place I could find it with that view. The car really was tiny.)
Would you want a car that small? Even if it was that efficient? Is it THAT important to get around in a car??????
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:iconvisionoftheworld:
VISIONOFTHEWORLD Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
How many of these can they make? And taking that measurement at 30mph is not fair, since the federal requirement measures 'highway mpg' at 65mph. It used to be measured at 55mph until Obama changed it, because 55 is a lower speed and makes the engines seem more efficient. Nevertheless, I bet a Prius would get close to 100mpg if it had a standard trans and in top gear at 30mph- completely unmodified.

The average economy car will get maybe 30mpg or 40 on highways in the US. So if 30 kids rode in 30 cars going 300 miles, a total of 300 gallons of gas would be used. If all 30 kids rode a bus that got 10mpg going 300 miles, a total of 30 gallons would be used.

And not only that, but there is one vehicle instead of 30 now.
Imagine the difference on our public roads and highways, with that many fewer cars. Imagine the resources used to build that many cars, and the computers put into them, and the amount of money spent on them.
Compare it to a bus ticket.
Suddenly a 300mpg car sounds like a stupid joke, doesn't it?
Yep, it's not gonna solve our problem.
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:iconchakatblackstar:
ChakatBlackstar Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
My high school got in on those contests too. I think they got something like 325 mpg. Also, fun fact: Briggs & Stratton, one of the brands you mentioned for engines originally started as a car company even producing the cheapest mass-produced car ever and I believe developed the first hybrid car in 1980, though it was never mass-produced since the oil crisis was just ending.

As for why car companies can't do better, they have to keep their car road legal with crumple zones, lights, muffler, and creature comforts like fans, radios, etc. So making a fuel efficient car while maintaining a decent profit margin can be difficult. Though if you want fuel efficient, diesel and ethanol are both better. For those of you with Flex Fuel cars who disagree about the ethanol, that's because your car's computer was optimized for gasoline, not ethanol. A well equipped garage can fix that.
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:iconscythepuppet:
scythepuppet Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So... it's a moped but smaller?
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
Trike but enclosed, as per the rules.
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:iconscythepuppet:
scythepuppet Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No, my point was "Oh this would be impressive if it weren't a lightweight single person vehicle."
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:iconsquirrels-are-evil:
squirrels-are-evil Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
One of the reasons I did not support Obama's auto bailout. If the auto market needs to change, then it needs to fail first. Handing the companies money is like rewarding them for bad behavior
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
The lack of a bailout would have dropped everything through the floor.
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:iconsquirrels-are-evil:
squirrels-are-evil Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Exactly. Instead of the "us vs. them" mentality that we have know we'd have had a much bigger outcry of corruption and change. Great duress is what brings about drastic change, we're only just seeing the beginnings of it
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
I would like to avoid the 'great duress' part and remain hopeful that intelligence will one day win the fight
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:iconsquirrels-are-evil:
squirrels-are-evil Featured By Owner May 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
For a country such as the US I don't believe we have a stone's throw chance, but I'm definitely going to keep an eye on France to see if they can pull it off
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner May 13, 2012
I know, mainstream Ammurkah is tragically stupid beyond reason.
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:icongreatchalupaking:
GreatChalupaKing Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
Not as good as that hovering thingy that has no gallons.
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
Link?
I want a hovering thingy
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:iconshidaku:
Shidaku Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
Sure, they're not really that hard to build. The thing is: The have no torque and can't go faster than 35mph. At that speed it'd take you days just to travel across a city. Without torque, it'd be almost impossible to go up a hill(of which America has many). Could/Should cars be a lot more fuel efficient? Heck yes. But this isn't how you do it.
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner May 12, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
The space between my city and the next city is 40 kilometres. 35mph is 56kmph, so it'd take less then an hour.

What type of city is more then 40 kilometres across
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:iconshidaku:
Shidaku Featured By Owner May 12, 2012
The giant mish-mash hybrid cities of San Fransisco, San Jose and Oakland. It's about 60 miles from the Golden Gate to the edge of San Jose and it's pretty much solid city driving along highway 101. Same for from Richmond through San Jose. The 3-4 cities have basically merged and it's almost impossible to determine where one stops and the other begins.
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
35 mph will get you across any city on Earth without 'days. required.
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:iconshidaku:
Shidaku Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
You been in LA traffic recently? That's about how fast you'd be moving.
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
I think 15 mph in most cities is the norm during the day.

I mean, it takes me 45 minutes to go 13 or 14 miles on some days.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
As said, it's not actually a viable car. I'm sure the auto industry could make a vehicle like that, but not one that is actually useful.
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
:iconbullshitplz:
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:icondefense2:
defense2 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
I'm, as much as it pains me to say... Try doing all of that with the bear bones of what cars need to be on the road today... Let alone sell to the public.

Safety takes up weight and design which can cause drag

Each electronic device adds weight and power from the engine.

Can we simply remove the wheel itself and have a joystick to reduce weight with drive by wire? Yes, but we all would have to relearn how to drive if you change the wheel... The car won't sell well,.. At least not to most, if it gets better mileage, I'll learn to drive it, most won't.

Without the AC, cars anymore won't sell
Without a radio, cd player and or mp3, cars won't sell.
Without power windows, locks and car alarms, cars don't sell well.

So, when you design a car around these things, and get such mileage, let me know. I'm not saying they don't exist, bu they aren't on the show room floor for the public to buy.
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:iconwalkingren:
WalkingRen Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
Obviously, it probably wouldn't be useful in a normal car but it's still pretty cool
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
The idea is there. The ability to make it happen exists now.
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:iconwalkingren:
WalkingRen Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012
It would be possible and expensive
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:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012
Only at first. production costs go down with mass production and process improvement
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:iconwalkingren:
WalkingRen Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012
But if the car is too expensive now, that there won't be mass production.
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:iconthe-necromancer:
The-Necromancer Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
An interesting experiment, but nothing more. While stunning in it's fuel efficiency, it is completely impractical for common use. With some exception to consumer taste, there must always be a balance of efficiency and practicality that will naturally limit design.

This does, however, remind me of that story I'd heard years ago of the man in the 1950s who designed a carburetor that allowed a car to get fifty miles to the gallon. It vanished quickly after the auto and petroleum companies found out about it, likely to that man's financial gain and everyone else's loss. Rumor has it GM actually equipped a few cars with it that accidentally found their way to market, and later grabbed them back up under pretense of a recall...
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:iconscottahemi:
ScottaHemi Featured By Owner May 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've heard of aftermarket carb kits that boost the millage of an engine to some impressive numbers, but if this guys carb was anything like these aftermarket ones it would have really sapped the engines power and performance, in the 1950s this would not have worked and by the time it would have worked the car companies had smaller almost as efficient but more powerful engines available.

and i don't think you can really blame the car companies for this, they just make what people want to buy. though GM didn't even need this carb, if they wanted to they could have been building hybrids sense 1969! [link]
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