Motley Cruise: With Their Fuel-Efficient Vehicles, Students Target Miles Per Gallon Record at Shell Eco-Marathon Americas 2012

Challenging the 2,564 MPG Record, High School, University Squads Race to Finish Their Super-Mileage Vehicles

HOUSTON, Feb. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - University of Missouri students are racing to finish their futuristic "TigerGen III" hydrogen-powered vehicle. And, at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, five senior engineering students are readying their lightweight, plug-in electric car with its carbon fiber shell. Their big concern? Making sure a driver can fit inside it.


In California, students at Monrovia High School are confident that their three-wheeled, computer-controlled vehicle will be a winner this year. And, at Mater Dei High School in Indiana, students are putting the finishing touches on four vehicles and hoping one will prove to be the most fuel-efficient.

More than 1,000 innovative high school and university students across the Americas are fast approaching the sixth annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas in Houston. The event challenges students to build, design and compete with their high-mileage vehicles in competitions held annually in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Shell Eco-marathon brings together future leaders in science and engineering who are passionate about finding solutions to global energy challenges.

From March 29 through April 1, students and their fuel-efficient vehicles will navigate the streets of downtown Houston, amid the skyscrapers, and strive to break the astounding 2,564.8 miles per (one) gallon achieved in 2011 by Quebec's Universite Laval team, which will compete again this year.

That far outperformed the 50 miles per gallon attained by a Shell scientist in 1939 in a challenge that has evolved into today's Shell Eco-marathon. Since then, the event has brought together thousands of students from more than 30 countries to put their futuristic vehicles to the test.

"Shell Eco-marathon is an important part of the energy challenge facing our planet," says Mark Singer, Global Project Manager. "The future will require a mosaic of energy solutions, and we believe we're contributing to a smarter energy future with more responsible options for our customers and credible advice for our markets and policymakers. Shell Eco-marathon is an amazing experience for students and spectators alike."

'Amazing Experience,' Indeed
The event has sparked intense competitions between high schools and between nearby universities, among other rivalries. In particular, Los Angeles-area universities see who can best each other annually, as do several Texas universities, including the University of Houston, the University of Texas at El Paso and for the first time this year, Rice University. Some Texas high schools would also like to claim state winner's rights.

Never mind local rivalries, says the Stevens Institute team. Team members have high hopes for its first-ever Shell Eco-marathon entry, which will compete in the electric prototype class, comprised of futuristic vehicles seeking to reduce drag and maximize efficiency. "We expect to do quite well," says senior Steve Rawson. "With some of the initial numbers we have from our design, we look to finish with about 400-or 500 miles/kWh and first in the class."

At the University of Houston, the Superleggera team expects its entry to get 1,000 miles on a single tank of gas. But, the engineering students have been short of one major ingredient – cash – and they are actively seeking sponsors.

Good Samaritans Help
Supporters certainly can make a difference. The University of Alaska at Fairbanks' electric vehicle in 2011 cost about $5,000 in supplies and another $2,500 in travel, and the team won Wired magazine's unofficial "Down to the Wire" award for its last-minute efforts to get its funding. This year, the automotive engineering students are busy building additional vehicles, adding to the costs.

Teams get help from various good Samaritans. At Granite Falls High School in Washington, team volunteer Kari Hanson recently received the volunteer of the year award from a local business and she donated her $5,000 check to help fund the team's trip to Houston. "Shell Eco-marathon Americas takes academic learning from the classroom and applies it to something real and tangible, but it also teaches us life and workforce skills they can put to use in the real world," she says.

Several teams have websites to keep their communities informed of their Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2012 progress and seek donations.

Students Gain from Their Experiences
Shell Eco-marathon participants eagerly talk about how the competition has equipped students for careers in energy and technology. Allen White, faculty advisor of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology team, says graduates have received job offers from Chrysler, Cummins Engine, Caterpillar and Rolls-Royce, among others.

MacKenzie Sellers, past president of the Purdue University Solar Racing team in 2007 and 2008, also works at Rolls-Royce, mostly with aerospace gas turbine engines. "My experience on the solar racing team prepared me for my career," she says.

In addition to the student competition, Shell along with media sponsor The New York Times, will host the 2012 Energy Summit: Earth 2050: The Nexus of Food, Energy, Water. The two-day symposium will be attended by a variety of leaders representing policy, the environment, business and academia.

For more information on all 2012 events across the globe, including the complete Americas 2012 roster, schedule and official rules, please visit Shell Eco-marathon website at

About Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 93,000 employees in more than 90 countries. We deliver a diverse range of energy solutions and petrochemicals to customers worldwide. These include transporting and trading oil and gas, marketing natural gas, producing and selling fuel for ships and planes, generating electricity and providing energy efficiency advice.

We also produce and sell petrochemical building blocks to industrial customers globally, and we are investing in making renewable and lower-carbon energy sources competitive for large-scale use. In the U.S., we operate in 50 and employ more than 20,000 people delivering energy in a responsible manner.

About Shell Eco-marathon
Shell Eco-marathon is a global program that challenges high school and college student teams to design, build and test the most energy-efficient vehicles. With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, this innovation competition pushes future scientists and engineers to travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2012 will take place March 29April 1, 2012 on the streets of downtown Houston, the energy capital of the world. Visit to learn more about this program.

Cautionary Note
The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate entities. In this press release "Shell", "Shell group" and "Royal Dutch Shell" are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words "we", "us" and "our" are also used to refer to subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies. ''Subsidiaries'', "Shell subsidiaries" and "Shell companies" as used in this press release refer to companies in which Royal Dutch Shell either directly or indirectly has control, by having either a majority of the voting rights or the right to exercise a controlling influence. The companies in which Shell has significant influence but not control are referred to as "associated companies" or "associates" and companies in which Shell has joint control are referred to as "jointly controlled entities". In this press release, associates and jointly controlled entities are also referred to as "equity-accounted investments". The term "Shell interest" is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect (for example, through our 34% shareholding in Woodside Petroleum Ltd.) ownership interest held by Shell in a venture, partnership or company, after exclusion of all third-party interest.

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Royal Dutch Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management's current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Royal Dutch Shell to market risks and statements expressing management's expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as ''anticipate'', ''believe'', ''could'', ''estimate'', ''expect'', ''intend'', ''may'', ''plan'', ''objectives'', ''outlook'', ''probably'', ''project'', ''will'', ''seek'', ''target'', ''risks'', ''goals'', ''should'' and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Royal Dutch Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this press release, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for the Group's products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserve estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including potential litigation and regulatory effects arising from recategorisation of reserves; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional factors that may affect future results are contained in Royal Dutch Shell's 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2010 (available at and These factors also should be considered by the reader. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this press release, February 29, 2012. Neither Royal Dutch Shell nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permits oil and gas companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only proved reserves that a company has demonstrated by actual production or conclusive formation tests to be economically and legally producible under existing economic and operating conditions. We use certain terms in this press release that SEC's guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in filings with the SEC. U.S. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, File No 1-32575, available on the SEC website You can also obtain these forms from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330.

SOURCE Shell Oil Company

Image with caption: "The student team from Universite Laval in Quebec City, shown here on the track, took first place at Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2011 with an astounding 2,564.8 miles per gallon - the record to beat on March 29 through April 1 at the 2012 event. (CNW Group/Shell Oil Company)". Image available at:

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