Minnesota High Schools Compete To See Who Can Build The Most Fuel Efficient Vehicle
Brainerd International Raceway is usually associated with speed, but the vehicles on the track today were more concerned with fuel efficiency.
High school students from all across Minnesota have been working all year for the Super Mileage Competition at Brainerd International Raceway. The competition is a two-day event where students build a vehicle from one of five categories and drive it around the track, testing for fuel efficiency.
“We have a couple cars out here that are full headlights, windshield wipers, turn signals, and they’re doing really amazing numbers with fuel efficiency,” Luke Becker, Minnesota Super Mileage Competition Director, said. “We have a street-legal car that just ran 450 miles per gallon.”
The numbers are astounding, and what might be more impressive is the amount of work and problem solving that goes into these vehicles.
“We’ve had some noises in my pit that I’ve never heard in my life,” Becker said. “The kids are like, ‘Becker, what do we do?’ and I have no idea whatsoever, so here’s a wrench and figure it out.”
“It really engages problem solving,” Jeremy Brown, Braham High School Senior, said. “You never know what’s going to happen so you always have to be prepared.”
“For a while on our electric car we couldn’t figure out the circuit board,” Maddy Kreyer, Braham High School Junior, said. “We finally got it down this year, and now we are second best in the nation with our electric car.”
Now, a vehicle that gets over 300 miles to the gallon obviously won’t look like your normal car, but how does a vehicle get such good gas mileage?
“A lot of it is making sure your brakes aren’t dragging, good bearings, tire pressure, and then how you drive it,” Brown said.
What these students can do to a vehicle is amazing, and it brings up the question…what will our vehicles look like in the future?
“These are the future engineers that we are going to have, these are the future road workers, these are the future machinists, these are the future designers, and the future is bright with what I’m seeing today,” Becker said.
This was the 31st year for the super mileage event, and they plan to be back at B.I.R. next year.