Houston - Today, Shell Oil Company ("Shell"), in conjunction with Sonoma Raceway and Speedway Motorsports Inc., announced Sonoma Raceway as the 2018 location for Make the Future California featuring Shell Eco-marathon Americas from April 19-22, 2018.

Make the Future California provides a platform for innovation, collaboration and conversation around the world's energy challenges, as part of a global series of events through 2018. At the heart of the events is Shell Eco-marathon, one of the world's leading energy efficiency competitions for students, requiring them to design, build and test ultra-energy-efficient vehicles; push the boundaries of what is technically possible and inspire thinking about the challenges and opportunities for future mobility.

Make the Future California will host two Shell Eco-marathon competitions:

  • Shell Eco-marathon Mileage Challenge - where students compete to see whose vehicle design can go the farthest on the least amount of fuel.
  • Shell Eco-marathon Drivers' World Championship Regional Final - marrying energy efficiency with speed in a race to be crowned the regional champion, and secure their place in the Drivers' World Championship Grand Final which will be held in London, 2018.

For the last 11 years, students participating in Shell Eco-marathon Americas have designed ultra-energy efficient vehicles, with some achieving more than 3,500 miles per gallon. In April 2018, more than 1,000 students from across the Americas are expected to gather at Sonoma Raceway with their custom-designed and student-built energy-efficient vehicles.

"Make the Future California featuring Shell Eco-marathon is designed to inspire student innovation and develop future technologies that represent game-changing energy efficiency and transportation performance," said Pamela Rosen, Shell Eco-marathon Americas spokesperson. "These student participants are the people who help meet the growing energy demand and reduce future CO2 emissions."

Student teams compete in two vehicle classes. The Prototype class invites students to enter futuristic, streamlined vehicles, and the UrbanConcept class focuses on "roadworthy," energy-efficient vehicles aimed at meeting the real-life needs of drivers. Entries are divided by into three energy categories:

  • Internal combustion: gasoline, diesel, and ethanol
  • Hydrogen fuel cell
  • Battery electric

Last year's Shell Eco-marathon Americas' winner, Université Laval from Quebec, Canada, recorded 2,731.1 miles per gallon with its ultra-energy-efficient gasoline powered prototype vehicle. Runners-up were Brigham Young University (Utah) and Mater Dei High School (Indiana).

And in the UrbanConcept class, Mater Dei Supermileage Team from Indiana, recorded top energy efficiency stats with 723.4 miles per gallon in its gasoline powered vehicle. Saint Thomas Academy (Minnesota) was joined by Alden-Conger High School and Newburgh Free Academy rounding out the UrbanConcept podium places in the Drivers' World Championship Regional Final in Detroit. Saint Thomas Academy went on to win the global race for efficiency at the Driver's World Championship Grand Final in London and now head to Maranello, Italy, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with Scuderia Ferrari later this year, where they will get to run their victorious Shell Eco-marathon car around the iconic Fiorano Test Track.

"At Sonoma Raceway, we always strive to provide a showcase for the latest in green automotive technology and hosting the Shell Eco-marathon in 2018 will be a significant milestone in that effort," said Sonoma Raceway President and General Manager Steve Page. "Best of all, this event provides a platform for the young people who will constitute the next generation of automotive designers, engineers and innovators.  We are very excited to provide the forum for them to unveil and test their latest efforts."

For more than 30 years the Shell Eco-marathon program has challenged future engineers and scientists to go ever farther on less energy. 2018 marks the return of this signature automotive competition to California, a region whose defining industry is investing in innovation and technology that will shape the future of sustainable mobility by uniting the industries and individuals that will help drive a cleaner, brighter future.

Shell Eco-marathon, held annually in the Americas, Asia and Europe, inspires young scientists and engineers to think about energy efficiency and offers them a unique platform to develop energy solutions in a practical manner.

Student teams wishing to compete in the 2018 Shell Eco-marathon Americas in California can register by October 12, 2017.

"California is globally recognized as a leading birthplace of innovative technology. Its engineers, designers, and families put technology into the hands of people across the globe and are re-shaping the automotive industry," said Norman Koch, Shell Eco-marathon General Manager. "When we asked ourselves where to host our signature student innovation competition in the Americas, after three successful years growing the event in Detroit, California was an easy decision as it is home to such a rich mix of technology start-ups and industry as well as world-class academia."

For universities and high schools interested in learning more about Shell Eco-marathon Americas, including additional details on vehicle class requirements, official rules and details on prizes, please visit the Shell Eco-marathon website at: www.shell.com/ecomarathon.