Greenpower Nationals (2012): the 3000mpg Goodwood race

Published: 21 September 2012

In an effort to get the next generation of budding automotive engineers excited about economical cars, Goodwood motor racing circuit will once again play host to the Greenpower Finals next month.

The event centres on a race between school teams competing in scratchbuilt eco-minded racing cars, with the capability to get close to the equivalent of 3000mpg.

Just how economical are these school-built Greenpower cars?

Well, there's no greenhouse gas emissions from the cars themselves - power is provided by batteries dished out to every team. It's then up to the team to come up with an aerodynamic, lightweight car that can be driven fast enough to take the chequered flag first. The video below shows the diverse range of designs, all looking something like miniature land speed record cars.

The students responsible for successful Greenpower racers in the past have calculated the cars return an equivalent of 2890mpg, and could travel 13.5 miles on the energy contained within one Mars Bar. Chocolate snacks aren't likely to be a viable fuel of the future, but if sweets are then it's heartening to know a Greenpower car can race for 0.98 miles on the energy held within a solitary Jelly Baby.

During the race, the cars will cover around 120 miles on 20 pence worth' of electricity.

Can I watch the 2012 Greenpower race myself?

Yes - it all happens at Goodwood racing circuit on 14 October 2012, where there'll be 100 of the nation's best young eco-engineers competing for the podium. Well, it won't carbon offset the Festival of Speed and Revival, but this zero-emission motorsport is a start...