Eco Marathon Americas Participants

Shell Eco-marathon Brings Education & Fun to Detroit April 22-24

The Shell Eco-marathon has become one of the world’s most challenging student innovation competitions and it’s making its way to Detroit, April 22-24.

Over the coming days, 52 high school students and 88 university students from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela will be participating in a competition to develop energy efficient automotive solutions, and the public is invited!

The 10th competition will take place on the streets of downtown Detroit and Cobo Center. We’ve gathered the details you need to know about the competition and all the free, fun activities available to the public.

The Competition

Students focused on engineering, science, design and technology are tasked with designing, building and driving ultra-energy efficient vehicles that go the farthest distance using the least amount of energy.

The competition is split into two vehicle classes: prototypes and urban concept.

106 participants will focus on prototypes, which are futuristic, streamlined vehicles with three or four wheels. The primary design consideration is to reduce resistance and maximize efficiency.

34 participants will focus on urban concept cars, which more closely resemble passenger cars, have four wheels and are designed to be road-worthy.

One of seven energy source categories must be used: hydrogen, electricity, gasoline, diesel, biofuels, gas-to-liquids (GTL) or compressed natural gas (CNG).

The Make Zone Visitor Experience

Covering more than half a million square feet indoors, visitors can explore and experience the world’s energy future and see what the student teams are doing behind the scenes of the competition. Check out ideas for transportation, the home, shared spaces within cities, and even business and entrepreneur collaboration. There will also be workshops, make-a-thons and more for the whole family!

Shell Eco-marathon Roots

For over 30 years, Shell Eco-marathon competitions have challenged students to push the limits of energy efficiency and innovate solutions to the world’s mobility challenges. But this event can trace its roots back to 1939, when a friendly bet between scientists took place at a Shell research facility in Illinois. The winner was able to get a vehicle to a little over 49.72 MPG.

With technology and energy efficiency at the forefront of the automotive industry, the competition was launched in Europe in 1985. It expanded to the Americas in 2007 and Asia in 2010, and today, more than 5000 students participate!

Join the Fun

All ages are invited to check out this festival of ideas and innovation that will shape the future of our cities. Watch these young innovators compete on an outdoor track, and join the fun inside Cobo Center. Free tickets for Shell Eco-marathon Americas are available at

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