The Eco-Marathon, hosted by Shell every year, is an open race that challenges teams to create the most fuel-efficient vehicle possible, by using creative new lightweight design structures like bike tires, and utilizing a range of different fuel options from gas to solar. The race often has astounding results, like a recent French winner, a small, aerodynamic vehicle that topped the competition with 7,000, that’s right, 7,000, MPG.
The race celebrates fuel efficiency, and might make us think twice about the ridiculousness of purchasing a heavy monster of a car that only gets 14-18 MPG, like a hummer, when faced with the reality of getting almost 10 miles per teaspoon, as the winning vehicle did. What seems to be highlighted is inefficient fuel consumption by poor vehicle construction, at least isn’t that what Shell would like us to think?
While they have a point, and the possibilities of future growth in fuel efficiency are extremely exciting, the fact of the matter is Shell is an oil company, profiting off mining non-renewable resources, and it’s a little too easy for them to casually point the finger at car manufacturers and faulty design, instead of trying to take it on themselves to explore growth in exploiting renewable resources.