Some German graduate students built a car that can get around the world – assuming for a moment nce ribbons of road across the oceans – on the energy equivalent of one single gallon of gas. And the car performs that feat with about 1,200 miles, or almost the distance from New York to Miami, to spare. Chalk another one up to German ingenuity.

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) and its TUfast Eco Team took its teardrop-shaped electric vehicle out to Audi's test track in Bavaria earlier this month to see how far it could go on as little electric power as possible. With a few tweaks here and there, the TUfast team took the little-bitty vehicle around the Audi track's banked turns and achieved an efficiency rate of more than 1,200 kilometers per kilowatt hour. Convert that to miles per gallon-equivalent, and you have a vehicle that gets the equivalent of about 26,100 miles per gallon. That's good for a Guinness Record for energy efficiency out of a vehicle.

The nine-member team took its vehicle to the European version of the Shell Eco-marathon in London earlier this month, and posted a video on its entry. In fact, the car was originally built for the 2014 Shell Eco-marathon, and has been improved since then.

Granted, the car can't be compared to the garden-variety light-duty vehicle. The three-wheeled car is dwarfed by the size of a typical road vehicle, while the car's single occupant drives it by practically lying down. Meanwhile, updates during the past year include super-aerodynamic rims, low-friction bearings, and a tweak in the magnet placement in the vehicle's electric motor.

Related Video:

2013 Shell Eco-Marathon Americas

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