GOSHEN — Think a vehicle that can get more than 500 miles per gallon is still a thing of the future? Several local high school Super Mileage teams would beg to differ.
Just ask the members of the Goshen High School Super Mileage team, who this past weekend competed in their third consecutive Shell Eco-Marathon Americas, an international competition held in Houston, Texas, that brings together more than 1,000 high school and university students from across the Americas to compete to see whose self-built, ultra energy efficient vehicles can travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy.
The team, lead by engineering technology teacher J.J. Johnson, took two cars to the competition this year — a gasoline-powered electronic fuel-injected car and a diesel-powered car. While the team has competed with gasoline-powered vehicles in the past, this year’s diesel-powered car was a first for the group.
“The competition went really, really well,” Johnson said from his office Tuesday afternoon. “The gasoline vehicle ended up in 17th place out of 43 cars, and the diesel ended up in 5th place out of nine cars.”
While the team’s goal this year to break the 1,000 miles per gallon mark with their gasoline-powered car did fall short in the end, the group was able to turn out a top run of 588 miles per gallon — an impressive figure by anyone’s standards. The team’s top diesel run came out to 442 miles per gallon.
“Overall they’re feeling really good about their performance,” Johnson said of the team, noting that while the team was unable to reach its 1,000 miles per gallon goal for the year, it was able to complete all 10 of the laps required for each competition — a big accomplishment for even the highest performing schools. “When I sit back and reflect, being able to complete the laps the students completed in Houston is a battle in itself, because many schools can’t complete a full 10 laps. So to get through all that, the technical inspection and complete the laps is a big technical feat. So I’m really happy with the results.”