EVT Heading Back to Shell Drivers' World Championship in London

News Date : 05/01/2017

Saint Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team Earns Repeat Appearance at the Shell Drivers' World Championship in London

Team takes 1st in its category at Shell Eco-marathon with 50.3 miles/kilowatt hour


MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., May 1, 2017 – The Saint Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team (EVT) has once again earned an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the Shell Drivers’ World Championship in London, after placing first in the regional qualifying round held at the 2017 Shell Eco-marathon Americas this past week. The top three UrbanConcept teams from each region (Asia, Americas, Europe) will compete in the Drivers’ World Championship Grand Final on Sunday, May 29.

“We are excited to return to London later this month to represent the Americas in the Drivers’ World Championship,” said EVT Adviser Caroline Little. “We have had our sights set on London throughout the design and construction of our UrbanConcept car. We learned from last year’s competition, which should give us an edge this year. Regardless of how the car performs, this is an incredible opportunity for our team members to test their skills and knowledge while connecting with other hopeful engineers from around the world.”

Shell Eco-marathon General Manager Norman Koch noted, “Drivers’ World Championship marries the incredible engineering we see year after year in the Shell Eco-marathon mileage challenge. Our first regional event in Singapore in March showed how passionate students are about this race for fuel efficiency and that continued in Detroit.”


In the 2017 Shell Eco-marathon Americas this past weekend, the EVT won the UrbanConcept Battery-Electric Category by achieving 50.3 miles per kilowatt hour. Among all the categories, 114 teams from universities and high schools from throughout North America, Latin America and South America competed this past weekend. Each team was required to pass strenuous technical inspections before testing its vehicles on an indoor practice track to ensure it was ready for the outdoor competition. In the actual competition, each team’s car was required to make 10 laps, for a total distance of six miles, within 24 minutes around a closed-circuit track along the Motor City’s downtown streets to record a successful run.

Team Members

Sam Edgerton
Patrick Gaylord
Peter Gould
John Houge
Jackson Mejia

Jack Kotok
Alex Moeller
Sam Westlake
Joe Zirnhelt
Charlie Quinlan
Devin McGill
Zach Keller
Nicholas Kern
Brendan Houle  

Peter Holmes
Luke Kolar
Joe McMahon
Nicholas Wright 

Faculty Advisers:
Caroline Little
Mark Westlake 

Car created with CAD
Like all the other teams competing, the EVT has built its concept car from scratch, expanding their design, engineering and mechanical skills as they prepared for this weekend’s Shell Eco-marathon Americas.

For the first time, the EVT designed its car using CAD. After printing the car on paper like puzzle pieces, team members traced the puzzle pieces onto foam that was cut into sections and pieced and glued together to make a full-sized model for the car. They then covered the model with fiberglass to make a negative mold from which the final carbon fiber parts where molded. The new process shaved months off the build process.

Vehicle specifications

  • Single-person vehicle
  • Weight: approx. 114 kilograms
  • Top speed: 35 mph
  • Street-legal lighting
  • 4-wheel independent suspension
  • 4-wheel hydraulic disk brakes
  • Full roll cage, seat belt and 5-point safety harness to protect the driver in the event of a crash

Team sponsors include: Power Systems Research, Firebase, Saint Thomas Academy and the Frank Schlick ’85 Foundation. Among the team’s in-kind supporters are: Express Composites, Valspar, igus, Beau Ties Ltd., Precision Punch and Plastic, Youngstown Gloves, 3M, Ross Johnson Paint, Venngage, Air Force Association and Richard Westlake.

About the Shell Eco-marathon
Shell Eco-marathon competitions challenge future automotive engineers and scientists to push the limits of energy efficiency and innovate solutions to the world's mobility challenges. Student-built vehicles have achieved more than 3,500 miles per gallon in the Americas challenge. For more information about all 2017 Eco-marathon events across the globe, including additional details on vehicle class requirements, official rules and details on prizes, visit www.shell.com/ecomarathon

About the Experimental Vehicle Team
The Experimental Vehicle Team is a co-curricular program that teaches budding engineers real-life problem-solving skills. Past Experimental Vehicle Teams have built a safer electric motorcycle for urban commuting, a one-person car that got more than 1,300 mpg and an electric car that traveled 50 miles on two car batteries. The team has now won 10 national championships and set numerous national records in its history.

About Saint Thomas Academy
Founded in 1885, Saint Thomas Academy is an all-male, college preparatory, Catholic, military/leadership school committed to preparing young men to succeed in college and in life. The Academy challenges its 623 students in grades 7-12 to excel academically, spiritually, morally and physically in and out of the classroom. It is fully accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS); a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Minnesota Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), and the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS).

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Amy Nugent for Saint Thomas Academy: 651.450.9222 or amy@renownmarketing.com.

Shell US Media Line: 713.241.4544 

/A gallery of images from the competition is available here./

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