Experimental Vehicle Team Competing in Shell Eco-Marathon

News Date : 04/27/2017

Saint Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team Competes with CAD-Designed Vehicle in 2017 Shell Eco-Marathon this Weekend

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., April 27, 2017 – The Saint Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team (EVT) will defend its title as Shell Eco-marathon Americas champion in the UrbanConcept Battery-Electric Category this weekend as it competes in the 2017 competition. The team hopes to best last year’s performance in which its vehicle achieved 52.7 miles per kilowatt hour, or approximately the electric equivalent of 1,750 miles per gallon. The team is aiming to earn a repeat appearance at the Shell Drivers’ World Championship, where they would compete against the top teams from the Shell Eco-marathon Asia and Shell Eco-marathon Europe. That competition will be held in London this summer.


The Saint Thomas Academy team is one of more than 100 student teams from nine countries across the Americas participating in this weekend’s event. Teams are competing in one of two vehicle categories –  Prototype or UrbanConcept. The Prototype category challenges teams to enter futuristic-looking, streamlined vehicles designed purely to reduce friction and maximize efficiency. While the UrbanConcept category focuses on more "roadworthy" energy-efficient vehicles. For both categories, teams can use any of seven official energy sources – including fuels such as gasoline, diesel as well as alternative fuels such as hydrogen, ethanol, gas-to-liquid (GTL), compressed natural gas (CNG) and battery electric technologies.

Prior to competing on a street circuit track in downtown Detroit, each team’s vehicle must undergo a thorough technical inspection to verify the vehicles have been built within the competition criteria. When they take to the streets, the teams are not competing for the fastest finish but the most fuel or energy-efficient finish.

https://us.vocuspr.com/Publish/1053472/vcsPRAsset_1053472_153623_7b35954a-22c7-4438-a370-d314f7a79fba_0.JPGCar 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. 150 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, Horton, Youngstown Gloves, 3M, Ross Johnson Paint, Vengage, 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 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). For more information, please visit www.cadets.com.

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/UPDATES & INTERVIEWS: Updates will be posted throughout the weekend on Twitter (http://twitter.com/staevt) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/staEVT/). Interviews with team members can also be coordinated while in Detroit and after their return./

MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Nugent, 651.450.9222 or amy@renownmarketing.com.

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