Wayne Gerdes, Fuel Efficiency Expert, Transports Record-Breaking Student Designed Vehicle To Detroit On 1-Tank Fuel Economy Drive Attempt.
“We are honored to have the Sullivan High School Team’s record winning vehicle on display here at The Henry Ford,” said Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. “The team’s passion and teamwork is reflective of the great innovators that we house in our own collection. We hope that visitors are inspired by their record-winning vehicle as Detroit gears up for the next Shell Eco-marathons Americas competition.”
The winning, ultra-fuel-efficient vehicle built-from-scratch by Indiana’s Sullivan High School’s “No Spark Plug Allowed” team set a new fuel efficiency record for Shell Eco-marathon Americas in the Diesel category with 1,899 miles per gallon equivalent.
The winning Diesel Prototype vehicle was transported from Houston to The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan, in a RAM 1500 Laramie Limited Eco-Diesel powered by a new diesel formulation, Shell Diesel FiT™ (Fuel injection Technology), driven by Wayne Gerdes, multiple world fuel efficiency world record holder.
“This on-road demonstration of Shell’s new diesel fuel, “Shell Diesel FiT”, reinforces our commitment to fuels product innovation. The student challenge is all about innovation and fostering mobility. This new fuel formulation currently being test-marketed in Seattle, Washington and Waco-Temple, Texas areas does both by bringing advanced engine protection benefits to diesel customers,” said Carlos Hernandez, Shell North America Fuels Manager.
“The journey from Houston to Detroit provides additional real-world experience for the new product in the latest technology light duty diesel vehicle category”, he added.
Gerdes achieved an impressive average city/highway combined fuel economy rating of an average 38.2 miles per gallon, an estimated 73.6 percent improvement over EPA estimated mileage for the RAM 1500, traveling more than 1,000 miles on a single tank of Shell Diesel FiT, before stopping to refuel in Indianapolis, Indiana.
As luck would have it, the route planned by Gerdes took him to Sullivan, Indiana on his way to Detroit. Wayne, his co-pilots, and Sullivan’s Prototype vehicle arrived at the high school Wednesday morning to a full turnout by the town including a school assembly to honor the Sullivan High School team, remarks from the mayor, and a mayoral proclamation, before continuing their journey to The Henry Ford.
“The team’s accomplishment and success has created an atmosphere of celebration and great pride for Sullivan High School and our entire school community,” said Chris Stitzle, Southwest School Corporation Superintendent.
“Mr. Brandon Small, Sullivan High School Technology Teacher and Super Mileage Team Sponsor, has developed a learning environment that allows students to explore and problem solve. This platform has created our student-driven success,” added Stitzle.
The display featuring Sullivan High School Team’s “Black Diesel” Prototype vehicle highlights the innovation, passion and teamwork required to push mobility forward as Detroit gears up to host Shell Eco-marathon Americas April 10-12, 2015.
For universities and high schools interested in learning more about Shell Eco-marathon Americas, including additional details on vehicle class requirements, official rules and details on prizes, please visit the Shell Eco-marathon website at: www.shell.com/ecomarathon.