BYU students win top prize for 2,000 mpg ‘supermileage’ vehicle

May 12, 2023, 6:38 PM | Updated: 9:40 pm

PROVO, Utah — Engineering students at Brigham Young University are celebrating a big international win for their fuel-efficient vehicle that can travel nearly 2,000 miles on a single gallon of gas.

They beat out teams from the U.S., Brazil and Canada to take home the top prize at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2023 in the prototype internal combustion engine category.

“The amount of work that we put in in the short span of three months and to have it pay off so well was exhilarating,” said BYU senior David Leavitt.

The BYU vehicle’s best attempt at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was 1,915.83 miles per gallon. The second-place team from Brazil achieved 1,806.1 mpg, while the third-place team from Canada finished with a mpg of 1,649.87.

BYU’s fuel-efficient car travels under 25 miles per hour and doesn’t have any creature comforts. Only the driver can fit inside the cramped interior.

“I give them ideas. I give them my best thoughts, but I don’t touch the car,” said Dale Tree, the mechanical engineering department chair. “These are some of the best students in the world. They’re just really good.”

Tree said the Supermileage Team overcame huge obstacles at the competition and learned valuable lessons for their upcoming careers.

“This is like sports for engineers,” he said. “Each component of the car is something that they’re going to go out now in a real car and work on and make better.”

While winning the trophy was exciting, the students said the teamwork and friendships are what will last a lifetime

“To do a project on this large scale, and to go compete with teams from many different countries, and to go out on top by the huge margin that we had, it just felt amazing,” said team member Yazan Tuffaha. “We worked together so beautifully, I felt like we were a NASCAR pit team towards the end.”

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BYU students win top prize for 2,000 mpg ‘supermileage’ vehicle