Thursday, April 26, 2007

'07 Cal Poly SMV Update

It's been a while since we last updated the CPSMV blog. The first thing we changed was the address from to Originally this blog was created to document the changes in all 3 Cal Poly SAE clubs: Mini Baja, Formula, & Supermileage. However, because of the hectic schedules of each team, we were only able to document the Supermileage vehicle.

2006 SAE Competition
The 2006 SAE competition (our first) was a huge success. The team received great feedback and comments about our "level" of performance and construction quality. We were 1 of 2 teams to use a monocoque chassis and we placed 6th place out of about 20 teams. Our best run of the competition was about 861 mpg which is good for our first year. It still does not beat the reigning champion British Columbia's 3145 mpg. The competition was extremely fun and was certainly a tremendous learning experience (driving philosophies, different tires, less weight, etc.).

2007 Shell Eco-Marathon
During the '06-'07 school year we were informed that Shell was going to be hosting an Eco-marathon competition in the Americas. The first 5 teams would receive $10K and the overall winner would receive a $10k prize and national recognition. Also, any internal combustion engine could be used instead of the Briggs & Stratton required by SAE. We decided to give this inaugural competition a shot due to above pros. However, the competition was going to be held in April instead of June, which meant less development time.

On April 14th at the California speedway, (which is much closer than Marshall, Michigan) the 2007 Shell Eco-marathon was held. Our first run achieved an astonishing 1710 mpg and our best run of the day achieved 1902.7 mpg; enough to win us first place in the IC category and overall! There were a total of 20 schools at the competition (we recognized a lot from the SAE competition) and we took first in only our second year! The European competition has been going on for about 20 years or so and this year they are expecting about 250 teams (a lot more than our inaugural 20 teams). Next year we expect the competition to pick up some more teams from around the country/world due to the publicity that Shell has been creating.

'07 Cal Poly SMV Car
We used the same chassis as last year, implementing several modifications from our original design, including:

  • 50cc Honda motor instead of the 150cc Briggs
  • Better rolling resistance tires
  • Wheel Covers
  • Lighter wheel mounts
  • Lighter driver
  • Lower RPM engaging clutch
Keep checking back because we will continue to update the blog with pictures and videos from the '07 Shell competition!

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