ShellLausitz, Germany – A French team has set an all-time record of 4,414 km on a single litre of fuel on the first day of the European 2010 Shell Eco-marathon. Team Polyjule Polytech Nantes clocked the equivalent mileage with a prototype hydrogen car.

The team unseated the previous record holders, ETH Zurich of Switzerland, who set a record of 3,836 km on a litre of fuel in 2005 with a prototype hydrogen vehicle.

“Believe it or not, the car broke down yesterday on the fifth trial run, so we’re ecstatic to have been able to pull together the combined efforts of all the team members, not only to get the car back up and running but to smash the previous record so emphatically,” said team leader Pauline Tranchard. The team focused specifically on enhancing the vehicle’s electronics monitoring system to minimize energy loss.

The Shell Eco-marathon started a day earlier than expected, in order to avoid wet and windy weather that has plagued the second day of the event.

The Eco-marathon Europe competition runs May 6 and 7, with 213 teams representing 22 countries from Europe and beyond taking part. The challenge requires them to design, build and drive the most fuel-efficient vehicle. For more information, visit Shell Eco-marathon.

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