"Showing up is 80 percent of life," Woody Allen once famously said. Ask the students at the Netherlands' Han University of Applied Sciences who competed in the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe, and they may say that the director/actor was understating his point. Because just getting their car to the starting line of the contest was a victory in itself.

Han Hydromotive's hydrogen vehicle actually won the contest, beating out 197 other student teams for the eco-driving title. The real achievement, though, was getting the Dutch government to grant the team a street-legal license for the single-seater. The government did its part after the team added safety features such as a windshield-wiping system, blinkers and headlights. Once licensed, the team drove the car the 65 miles or so from its campus in Nijmegen to the starting line in Rotterdam.

As for the Americas version of this year's Shell Eco-Marathon, the winner was Université Laval, whose vehicle reached more than 2,800 miles per gallon. University of Toronto's entry topped 2,700 mpg for second place of the contest, which was held in Houston.

The Dutch team members say their vehicle can go as far as 500 kilometers on a liter of hydrogen, or about 1,175 miles per gallon. Check out a four-minute video on the team below.

The Road to Rotterdam - Episode 6: Season finale from Eurosport SEM on Vimeo.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      2 wheeled menace
      • 5 Months Ago
      Many people here drive an infinite MPG vehicle already, so i'd say that these guys are a bunch of losers.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I assume that you're talking about a bicycle. Energy has to come from somewhere, so infinite mpg is impossible. In this case, energy comes from food, which gets energy from the sun, much like ethanol, or possibly hydrogen extraction. According to this blog, a bicycle gets the thermal equivalent of 104-196 mpg. http://constructal.blogspot.com/2006/03/whats-mileage-on-that-bicycle.html That's considerably less efficient than this vehicle because the human body is a horribly inefficient engine. And I doubt that this blog takes into account all of the energy needed to plant, harvest and distribute all of the food to the store and then to your home. the real efficiency of a bike might be considerably lower.
        Marco Polo
        • 5 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        @ 2 wheeled menace The only " infinite MPG" vehicle you can drive (as opposed to ride) would be a solar powered vehicle. I really don't think many people actually own solar powered vehicles. It might be possible to charge an EV from solely solar polar, and arrange for the cars usage to operate only on that basis, but not many can do that. If I lived full time in UK, and never travelled more than 120 miles from our estate in the home counties, I could ensure that my EV used only power generated by Bio-mass. But not many people are in that position. These students are enthusiastically learning about energy, energy efficiency, and developing a knowledge of the problems of engineering and practical applications, with a "hands on" experience. They deserve encouragement and congratulations, not being called "losers".