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    Shell, Houston Team Up for Eco-marathon

    Fuel efficiency challenge set for next March.

    HOUSTON -- Shell and the city of Houston are partnering to present hell Eco-marathon Americas next March, when Discovery Green will be replaced by cars of the future, as high school and college students test vehicles they have designed and built to see which can go the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel.

    "Bringing the Shell Eco-marathon to our home town of Houston provides the student teams with an all-new setting to stretch the boundaries of fuel efficiency," said Marvin Odum, president, Shell Oil Co. "The Shell Eco-marathon offers young people interested in technology, energy and transportation a unique, hands-on opportunity to showcase their innovations."

    The move to Houston marks two firsts for the event, which has been held in Southern California since its launch in the Americas in 2007. The event will, for the first time, take place on a street course, showcasing the exciting student innovations and futuristic vehicles on a more realistic stage.

    "Houston is proud to play host to the young people using their intelligence and creativity to tackle the great question of how we harness natural resources for our energy needs, while protecting the environment," said Mayor Bill White. "We welcome these researchers to Houston, a place that appreciates their talents."

    Shell Eco-marathon student teams create fuel efficient cars in two categories: Prototype, which focuses on streamlined vehicles that maximize fuel efficiency through innovative design elements, such as drag reduction, and Urban Concept, which focuses on more roadworthy fuel-efficient vehicles that are closer in appearance to the higher-mileage cars seen on roads today. For both categories, teams may use any conventionally available energy source, including fuels such as diesel, gasoline and liquid petroleum gas, as well as alternative fuels such as hydrogen, biomass and solar.

    The Shell Eco-marathon began in 1939 at a Shell research laboratory in the United States as a friendly wager between scientists to see who could get the most miles per gallon from their vehicle. The winner of that contest barely achieved 50 miles per gallon. In 1985 in France, the Shell Eco-marathon as we know it today was born. In April 2007, the Shell Eco-marathon Americas event was re-launched in the United States, and in 2010, the inaugural Shell Eco-marathon Asia will be held.

    Official rules, instructions for registration and details on prizes, are available on the Shell Eco-marathon Web site at www.shell.com/ecomarathon.

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