• Aug 19th 2010 at 4:01PM
  • 25
DeLaSalle School electric car – Click above to watch video after the jump

A team of students taking part in the Automobile Design Studio at Kansas City's DeLaSalle School have put together an electric car they think could be the most efficient in the world. Testing on the 7.7 mile oval of Bridgestone's Texas Proving Ground have given them a number that the Automotive X-Prize participants would be jealous of – 307 miles per gallon equivalent.

The students started with a 2000 Lola Indy Car chassis and, with the help of instructor Steve Rees and other mentors, developed an electric drivetrain, covered the racer in a clear shell and outfitted it with a set of low rolling resistance Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 tires. While we can't say whether it is the most efficient electric ever built, the Guinness Book of Records folks have been asked to weigh in on the matter. Hit the jump for a pair of videos discussing the project and showing it being put together and tested. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Wonder Woman finds out a bunch of school kids are messing around with her car she's gonna be pissed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I did a google search on "highest gas mileage car", and articles came up that included the "Pac-Car II", a car built by European universities, that accomplished the equivalent of 14,502 miles per gallon. I think it used hydrogen as fuel. They indicated that the vehicle would need 8 litres of fuel to circle the globe. Awesome, So even though 300 mpg is not the record, I still would be proud to be part of the team that built the Indy car in this article. Also, taking what they've done, add flexible solar panel all to the inside of the plastic shell, and get a few watts of power to charge a cycling battery system to extend the 300 mpg to maybe 400 or 500 mpg. Great job - keep up the good work !!! driverguy7.wordpress.com
        • 5 Years Ago
        "...accomplished the equivalent of 14,502 miles per gallon."

        When will we stop the nonsense and start just saying how much *actual* fuel/power/whatever it takes to go x number of miles? This new "MPGe" silliness should be setting off everyone's BS detectors!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know, I know, but it's not mass-producable and it will never pass crash spec!

      Oh wait - I should probably wait for Dan.

        • 5 Years Ago
        dammmnn yoouuu milllessss
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dan's been out of preachy mode lately. It's kinda nice. Don't jinx us !!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        : )
        well it's a one seater and it wouldn't need to be that big. and although they managed to pull off a build it is a highly unorthodox construction : )

        interesting way to make the body work and quite artsy.
        nice for them but not immediately a bit of engineering that threatens to overthrow the whole car industry. it does however demonstrate how easy great energy efficiency is and I imagine the underlying race car is quite crash worthy, certainly modern versions are.

        so much is possible but as usual the big automakers are mindless/incompetent/corrupt. a wonderful combination btw, sure to save the world any day now. we can trust them.
        good thing Steven Chu is on their case and not just permanently out to lunch.. cause that would be tragic. ah what a world : )

        and good thing all the politicians of the other countries are on top of the situation as well as their respective relevant ministries.

        but I'm sure peak oil has a very special incompetency discount.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This actually looks really sweet, whoever came up with using an existing Lola monocoque as a base platform is a genius! Who says racecars can't be efficient? =P
      • 5 Years Ago
      The body is bad-ass looking, but I am not sure if it is helping or hurting the Drag Area.

      They totally missed on the pressure recovery in the rear. I think hurting.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For me one of the best parts about this is that these were kids who had been in trouble, whose energies were being redirected into a cool project like this while building their science, technology, engineering and math skills. Total win, I say.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In college, I was on a team that built an ultra fast pedal powered tricycle, or at least that was the goal. The final product was crap. I've always thought it would be cool to redo that project to redeem myself. The faring was made of fiberglass and was too heavy to be useful. Can anyone tell me how they made the faring on this thing?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is probably Lexan like they use for R/C cars.

        Safety. This would be a really safe car, since it uses a Lola tub for the driver. No need even for stupid heavy air bags. Not practical without a trunk though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Huh, interesting. It's only 1 wheel drive!!

      If you look carefully at the pictures, you will notice that only the left-rear wheel is driven. There's nothing driving the right-rear wheel.

      Also wonder where they put the batter packs. When I was in college back in the late 90's, ASU had a electric formula car that had quick swap powercells on either side of the driver in the sidepods. Wonder if they are doing the same.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lots of fun on wet pavement.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're right, in the videos i only see one axle plugged in to the left.


        Talk about some torque steer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      So..... if high school kids can do it..... ah..

      wonder what the range, weight and all that fun stuff is.

      Awesome job
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like a sweet car. When maximizing fuel efficiency it helps to have a 100lb driver...
      They gave the test driver a fire suit but no helmet?!

      I highly doubt that this is the most fuel efficient electric vehicle ever made. Ever heard of the solar racers? I bet those cars can get more miles per kWh than this.

      Love the fist bump high five fail at the end.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Timo: In case you didn't notice this vehicle is not even close to being street legal. Solar cars also not street legal.

        Solar racers do carry a small amount of batteries so they can keep driving when the sun moves behind a cloud or building or mountain. They are just way more aerodynamic, lightweight and have much lower rolling resistance so they go much farther on a kWh.

        Also I doubt this vehicle would get very far in Finland in the winter with one wheel drive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Solar "cars" are not cars. They are unsafe aerodynamically shaped solar-panel movers with bicycle wheels. They are vehicles, but not cars. Comparing them to cars is like comparing any car to bicycle and estimate mpge by calculating how many calories the cyclist used.

        Solar vehicle couldn't be used in northern Finland during winter at all. Not because of snow or cold (even that those would prevent it too), but because _there is no Sun_ during winter there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why do you need a firesuit in an EV? I guess they could be li-cobalt batteries.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Right. Tour de Sol. Just what I was thinking. Hard to compete with 300# vehicles designed to race on 1kW of juice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Shell's ecomarathon winners are up around 10,000 miles per gallon equivalent.
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