By Neil Johnson
EDGERTON, Wi. (AP) – Although it’s decorated with flaming duct tape and its driver is equipped with a crash helmet, a harness-style seatbelt and a fire extinguisher, the main point is not how fast Edgerton High School’s super vehicle can go.
It’s all about the gas mileage.
With unleaded gasoline topping $3.90 a gallon, the high school’s Supermileage Vehicle Club could be the envy of any driver stuck with a fuel-guzzling pickup truck or SUV.
The eight-member, engineering class/student club, which is in its third year, is finishing work on two gas-powered super-mileage vehicles built to compete in two fuel-efficiency competitions this spring.
One of the vehicles, a one-seat, three-wheeled model that students built last year, got 160 mpg in a competition last spring.
This year, the club has tweaked the vehicle’s fuel intake with a goal of squeezing another 10 to 20 mpg out of it, its members said. Meanwhile, the club’s finishing a new three-wheeled vehicle it’s been building all year. It’s lighter and sleeker, with a more fuel-efficient motor.
The club hopes both vehicles will blow the doors off their performance last year.
“We’re really, really excited to see how both vehicles will run, especially the new one,” said Edgerton High School senior Max Ylvisaker, who is captain of the Supermileage Vehicle Club.
Ylvisaker and the club will compete this spring in two competitions sponsored by the Wisconsin Energy Efficient Vehicle Association.
One was April 27-28 at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton and at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna. The other is May 14-15 at the legendary, four-mile Road America road course at Elkhart Lake.
The point of the competitions and the focus of the Supermileage Vehicle Club is straightforward, said Joe Mink, a technology education teacher at the high school who is the club’s mentor and instructor.
“I tell the students that I need a vehicle to get me from point A to point B safely and efficiently,” Mink said.
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