Contact this office:

NEWS: Academics

< Back to Academics
< Back to all News

Efficient Vehicle Posts 1,070 mpg at Supermileage Competition

June 24, 2011

  On The Track: Rose-Hulman's Efficient Vehicles Team completes a lap around the 9.6-mile track at Eaton Corporation's proving grounds during this year's Society of Automotive Engineers' Supermileage competition.  (Photo hy Allen White)

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's high performance Efficient Vehicle Team achieved 1,070 mpg to post a strong fourth place at this year's Society of Automotive Engineers' Supermileage competition.  There were 30 college and high school teams participating this year at the Eaton Corporation's proving grounds in Marshall, Mich.

The performance was pleasing to team members, which worked diligently to fabricate a new car, with a new engine, in the two weeks before the competition.  Also, there was a rookie driver behind the wheel around the 9.6-mile track.

"It was an outstanding performance for a new car, engine and driver," stated Allen White, the team's faculty advisor.  "As always, the team worked well together and took their work, but not themselves, seriously.  I am very proud of the students' hard work and I am glad that the team performed so well during the competition."

Providing Instructions: Efficient Vehicles Team President Steve Sakai uses a pit row sign to pass along instructions to driver Zak Eckert during the supermileage competition. (Photo by Allen White)

The engine featured a Yamaha cylinder and head working inside a required Briggs & Stratton block.  It was completed in Michigan and was repaired extensively overnight in order to compete.

Team President Steve Sakai worked tirelessly and used his mechanical engineering skills to get the new engine working properly.  Meanwhile, Zak Eckert was the team's first male driver and improved throughout his three tours on the course.

SAE's Supermileage competition offers a simple yet challenging goal: to build a one-person, fuel-efficient vehicle based around a small, four-cycle engine.  Engines are donated by Briggs & Stratton.

Photos of the competition are available for viewing at