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Jenny Goodman in the latest Team Green car
Jenny Goodman in the latest Team Green car
Andy Green and Jenny Goodman with the latest ca
Andy Green and Jenny Goodman with the latest car

Press Release - 12 May 2006

8,000 miles per gallon British car enters for fuel-economy world title

A three-wheeler created by one man working in his spare time will be the sole British contender for the title of world's most fuel-economic car in a global competition next week.

Andy Green will keep the spirit of the lone British inventor who takes on the world very much alive when his Team Green car competes in the Shell Eco-Marathon championships in France on May 19-21.

Mr Green, an engineer at the University of Bath, has designed and built the car, which he expects to do around 8,000 miles to the gallon, in the evenings and weekends. This is the fourth fuel-efficient car he has built.

The Team Green car, 10 feet 2 inches long (3.1 metres) and two feet wide (0.6 metres) and weighing four stone ten pounds (30kg), will compete against 250 teams from as far as Brazil and Saudi Arabia. But though some foreign teams have sponsorship deals worth £40,000, Andy is getting by on just £2,000 from a couple of friendly organisations.

Despite his solo status, Mr Green’s work is of the highest calibre, and his previous fuel-efficient car is currently the British record holder, achieving 6603 miles to the gallon.

The new vehicle is powered by a single cylinder four-stroke engine with a capacity of just 35 cc, and runs with a special management system incorporating fuel injection.

“I’ve almost finished the car and it’s fair to say it’s almost finished me,” said Mr Green, who has been building the vehicle for two years, and working to midnight for the past few weeks to get it finished in time.

“The idea of a high fuel-efficient car isn’t taken as seriously in this country as elsewhere, so whereas other cars have large teams of mechanics and great sponsorship deals, the British entry was largely built by me on a shoestring budget."

"It's a labour of love," said Mr Green, who is a technician in the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. "It was very difficult to get funding to build the first fuel-efficient car when I started in 1996, but our success has meant that gradually we've been able to get limited sponsorship.

“I think the car is important because it is a reminder to us all that the way to achieve fuel-savings is to drive lighter cars – it’s the weight of this car that is the main reason for its fuel-efficiency.”

Mr Green will not be driving the car at the Nogaro Motor Circuit, near Mont-de-Marsan, south of Bordeaux in south west France. That task will be down to Frances Rogers, a 23-year-old chosen for her light frame - she is 4 feet 11 inches tall (1.49 metres) - and Jenny Goodman, who is similarly built.

Mr Green says he chooses women drivers not just because they are lighter, but also because his experience had told him that women drove more intelligently than men. Both Ms Rogers and Ms Goodman are former engineering students at the University.

Under the rules in France the car has to be driven at an average speed of 18 miles an hour (30 km per hour). Although the car has a steering bar, the competitors must avoid having to use their brakes, as that would push the fuel consumption up.

The team’s main sponsors are: Mouchel Parkman and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The company C12 Composites Ltd, based in Bromham, near Devizes, has helped work on the chassis.

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