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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Global Green Challenge contender aims for 2,352 MPG

A team of 40 student in the engineering department at Sakarya University Turkey have built a car called SAHİMO that is 90% Carbon Fibre, weighs only 110 kg (240 lb) and achieves an impressive 1,336 MPG. The car has already finished as third most efficient vehicle at the 26th Shell Eco Marathon held in Europe and is now being prepared for the 3000 km Global Green Challenge which runs along side the World Solar Challenge starting October 25th.

Instead of the usual bubble canopy this fuel miser looks a lot like a gas guzzling mini NASCAR. The car features some of the best ideas from other super fuel efficient vehciles including an all carbon fibre honey comb chassis similar the world's fastest car powered by dry cell batteries, Japan's Oxyride racer. The combined electric / hydrogen fuel cell drive system is very similar to that used by World Record holders for Fuel Economy, PAC - CAR II who achieved 15,212 MPG-IMP (12,600 MPG-US) 5,385 km / liter. PAC II used a PEM type (Proton Exchange Membrane) Hydrogen fuel cell stack that is close to 70% energy efficient, (compared to a typical ICE around 25%). No technical details are provided about the fuel system in the Sakarya car apart from the fact it runs on the same fuel, Hydrogen.

Both SAHİMO, and PAC cars use a similar in wheel motor arrangement which features a small DC motor direct driving a wheel mounted ring gear similar to a starter motor. In the case of PAC 2 motors are used to give different speed ranges and a servo can lift the motors to disengage them from the ring gear when gliding downhill. The Sakarya car runs a single small DC motor engaged to a wheel rim mounted ring gear.

The car cost $170,000 to build and they believe they can achieve 1,000 km from 1 liter or 2,352 MPG. We wish them the best of luck.

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