While many “spring breakers” spend their time enjoying some rest and relaxation with fellow students, 38 teams from across the United States, Canada and Mexico are hard at work putting the finishing touches on their high-mileage, fuel-saving prototype vehicles. After months of plotting, planning and pushing the limits, these students are down to the wire as they work to complete their vehicles for the 2008 Shell Eco- marathon Americas – a global mileage challenge and forum for current and future leaders who are passionate about finding sustainable solutions to the world’s energy challenge. “We realize the future of transportation ultimately depends on alternative energy sources,” said David Ulrich, student team leader of the Cal Poly team, who set the Shell Eco-marathon Americas record in 2007 with an astonishing 1,902.7 miles per gallon (809 kilometers per litre). “And as an engineering student, being given the opportunity to design and build fuel-efficient vehicles is an important part of gaining practical experience for the future.” Taking place April 10-12 at the California Speedway in Fontana, Calif., the challenge tests students to design and build eco-friendly vehicles that travel the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel. From vehicle design to financing, student teams manage their projects from start to finish. The winning team receives a grand prize of US$10,000 dollars for their school. The 2008 Shell Eco-marathon Americas roster contains 38 teams from five high schools and 24 universities from the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The entries include 28 vehicles powered by combustion engines, six by fuel cell/hydrogen technology, one by diesel fuel, one by liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and two by solar power.