During the marathon, cars in different categories (fuel cell-powered, gasoline-fueled, diesel-fueled, and LPG-fueled) travel at an average speed of 15 miles per hour for 10 miles. Fuel usage is carefully measured, and the winner takes home $10,000.
It was at a 2005 Eco-Marathon that a Swiss university team set the fuel efficiency world record with the Pac-Car II, which used hydrogen fuel cell technology to achieve the equivalent of a mind-boggling 12,600 miles per gallon in a regular gasoline-fueled car and emitted only water as exhaust. On the internal combustion engine side, Quebec’s Université Laval has dominated the last three years with a vehicle that gets 2,564 mpg. Hopes are high that those numbers will be matched — or bested — at this week’s marathon. (And before you ask, yes, solar cars also participate; they just aren’t eligible for the prize. This is a fuel efficiency competition, remember?)
Spectators are invited to watch the action noon to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. For a full schedule of events, call 713-400-7336 or visit www.discoverygreen.com. Free.
March 30-April 1, 2012