What is the ShellEco-marathon?

    A challenge for high school and college student teams from around the world (Europe, Asia, and the Americas) to design, build, and test energy efficient vehicles.  Winning teams are those that can travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy.
    Last year there were 94 teams at the Asia event in Kuala Lumpur, 187 teams at the Europe event in Lausitz, Germany, and 68 teams at the Americas event in Houston, Texas.  The Eco-Lancers of Livingston High School are the ONLY high school team from New Jersey.  The only other team from New Jersey is a team from Steven’s Institute! The current American record is 2,564 MPG and the world record is 8,675 MPG.  
    Who are theLivingston High School Eco-Lancers
    In the Fall of 2011, Mr. Novotny approached several Technology and Design for Science and Engineering students about the possibility of designing a vehicle for the 2013 Shell Eco-marathon.  A handful of students volunteered to look at the competition and began researching the details for preparing a competitive team.  Realizing the complexity of the competition, the team opted to develop a two year plan and began building a prototype of their vehicle in CAD and with wood.  Details of their work can be found on their website at www.ecolancers.webs.com  The following students comprised the Eco-Lancers:  Herbert Bolimovsky, SeanHunter, Harrison Katz, John Metzger, and Justin Russo.  Mr. Novotny, the Livingston High School Technology Department Supervisor serves as their coach/advisor.  Additional help and support is provided by Dave Richards and Cory Yersak, both teachers in the Technology Department at Livingston High School.
    wood prototype Wood Prototype2
    Through grants from Best Buy Electronics and Lowes Hardware the school was able to purchase tools and machines needed to assist in the design, building, and testing of the Eco-Lancer vehicle.  The addition of Autodesk Inventor Software and new Technology courses at the high school provide the team with the ability to create 3-D models of their designs before physically constructing them.  The ability to produce CAD drawings of our vehicle has been a real time saver for the team.  Examples of their drawings can be found on their web site.  Addition materials have been donated from Honda, Inc., Whippany Bicycle, Summit Bicycle, and various teachers in the Technology Department.


    The goal for the Eco-Lancers this year is to get an entry into the completion and establish a baseline level of data and knowledge for future teams. While it seems easy to “just connect up an engine to a bicycle wheel”, there are numerous design considerations that need to be dealt with –each one having multiple impacts on the overall design.   While at the competition in Houston, the Eco-Lancers will be meeting with other teams to discuss the various types of technologies that impact efficiencies.  The team anticipates detailing numerous ideas at the competition and developing them into their future designs.  A presentation about the event will be made to students and the public later this year.
     frame steering

    2012-2013 Teams
    LHS fielded 2 teams for 2012-2013 in the prototype division.  One vehicle was powered by diesel and the other by gasoline.  The team developed a new chassis, drivetrain, and body for the gasoline vehicle and converted the old gasoline vehicle to diesel. 
    2013-2014 Team 
    The 2013-14 team decided to recenter their focus on only the gasoline powered prototype vehicle.  The team consisted of Tal Lipshitz, James Levine, Julia Kollin, Ben Truskunov, Alex Sugarman, Jaimey Shaipey, and Gabby Ramano.  The goal of the team for 2013-14 was to push the efficiency of the vehicle over 700 mpg.  To do so, the following changes were made to the vehicle: the frame around the engine was replaced with chromemoly steel to increase rigidity and save weight, a fuel injection system replaced the stock carburetor, and a two speed- 14% overdrive rear axle was added.
    2014 Ecolancer Team  
    The team added new sponsorship from TransOptions, Inc. (a transportation-oriented non-profit, that delivers programs and services that improve mobility, the environment and overall quality of life in northwestern New Jersey).  Additional sponsors included: Livingston PBA, Northfield Collision, Honda Engines, Head of  the Hunt, The Foam People, Select Services, Shorai, Tektro, Kohler Engines, Pro WheelBuilder.com, Rutgers Formula Racing, Herman's Auto Parts, The Knotts Co., Hilltop Bicycles, Action Drives, Inc., 80/20 Inc., Whippany Cycle, Vail Industrial Supply, Louis Gragiulo Inc., and Regal Drapes.
    Ecolancers Houston 2  
    The team competed at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition in Houston Texas from April 24-26, 2014.   The team was the only team to compete from New Jersey!  Well-prepared, the Ecolancers were able to make several runs and develop solid experience that will be of value to future teams.  The team achieved a best run of 373 mpg!  More important than that number, the team delved into the factors that impeded our quest for 700 mpg.  It turned out that fuel injection requires a LOT of expertise.  Weight IS a big factor - we need to put the vehicle on a diet!  The two-speed rear axle required to much force to drive the internal gears (it now hangs in the lab as a reminder of good ideas having unintended bad consequences).  
    While the team was finishing up their vehicle, NJN came in to tape the team for an upcoming episode of NJN Classroom Close-up.  Photos of the taping can be seen at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/njea/sets/72157644043037696/page2/ 
    Ecolancers in Houston
    Ecolancers on NJN's Classroom Closeup Program
    2014-2015 Team 
     The Season Begins!  Anticipated changes: fine tune the fuel injection (purchase more sensitive sensors!); replace the two-speed rear axle with a lightweight efficient rear axle/tire/rim, replace the rest of the frame with light weight chromemoly steel, replace the canopy, improve drive communications and performance data, start the design process for an urban concept vehicle for 2015-16.
    Livingston Ecolancers on Jay Leno's Garage 
    2015-2016 Team
    The 2015-2016 Ecolancer team aims to have their prototype vehicle achieve 1,000 miles per gallon this year at the Shell Ecomarathon event in Detroit, Michigan.  The team members are looking to expand their knowledge in engineering, design, and automotive mechanics, along with improving their problem-solving and teamwork skills this year.  The team will work to enhance last year’s vehicle by incorporating refinements to multiple systems and technologies, such as a fuel injection system, frame, and steering, to reach their 1000 mpg goal.  While at the competition in Houston, the EcoLancers will further expand their knowledge by meeting with other teams and engineers to discuss the various types of technologies that impact fuel-efficiency.  A presentation about the event will be delivered to the public later this year.
    The Ecolancers are looking to begin development of a new vehicle for the Urban Concept division.  Their goal is to plan and develop a Northern New Jersey/New York City urban concept vehicle.  Using data and feedback from people from throughout the metropolitan area, the team is looking forward to developing a vehicle that best matches the wants and needs of typical consumers and will achieve over 350 mpg.  Stay tuned for further development!
    2017-2018 Team

    The 2017-2018 Shell Ecomarathon will be held in Sonoma, California this year.  The change in location necessitates a number of challenges to the team.  For the past several years, we have been able to trailer the vehicle to the competition.  This year, we will need to ship the vehicle!  As such, we are in the process of re-engineering the vehicle so that it is more compact and easier to ship.  Additionally, we are looking to improve on the efficiency of the drivetrain.  This year, all vehicles need to be started with an electrical motor.  This, along with our desire to use the electronics ignition control module of our EFI system necessitates the design and fabrication of several new parts for the engine.

    Perhaps the most exciting area of development for the team this year is the detailed look and analysis of the engine.  We are in the process of attaining a dynamometer so as to closely examine the horsepower and torque curves of the engine and to propose means to improve the performance and efficiency of the engine.

    The Ecolancer team aims to break the 1,000 miles per gallon threshold this year at the Shell Ecomarathon as they expand their knowledge in engineering, design, and automotive mechanics, along with improving their problem-solving and teamwork skills.

    Who are the Eco-Lancer sponsors?  
    The following businesses have contribute time, knowledge, supplies, and or materials to the 2011-18 Ecolancer teams:
    TransOptions, Inc.
    Best Buy
    Livingston PBA
    Northfield Collision
    Chatham Lawnmower (Honda Engine)
    Rocket Sprocket 
    Head of  the Hunt
    The Foam People
    Select Services
    Kohler Engines
    Pro WheelBuilder.com
    Rutgers Formula Racing
    Herman's Auto Parts
    The Knotts Co.
    Hilltop Bicycles
    Action Drives, Inc.
    80/20 Inc.
    Whippany Cycle
    Vail Industrial Supply
    Louis Gragiulo Inc.,
    Regal Drapes. 
    The Metal Supermarket
    Northern Supply
    Where can you find more information about the Eco-Lancers?