Eco Illini's newest team updates


Lexi Larson

Eco Illini car teamEco Illini Supermileage (Eco Illini) is the University of Illinois’s premier efficiency SAE team. They work to design, build, and compete the most efficient vehicles for both electric and gasoline competitions each year.

This past year the team continued working on their fifth-generation gas (G5) and began work on the electric (G5e) car. The team was successful in getting the engine and all other components for the gas car built by the beginning of this year, and they have started working on their electric car, for which they finished the lower monocoque, steering system, rear wheel, and battery.

The team is involved with two major competitions throughout the year—the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas (April 2022) and the SAE Supermileage competition. The team plans to bring its prototype electric car to the Shell event, where in 2019, they placed first with 153 mi/kWh, a huge success for the team. Later next year, in July 2022, the team will compete in the gasoline category at Supermileage SAE.  The Illinois team proudly holds the school record for gas efficiency with 1,137 MPG. Due to the pandemic, the past two years of competitions were held virtually, so the team is excited to get back to in-person competitions this year.

Eco Illini’s focus on efficiency is part of what makes the team so unique from other SAE teams. On this front, the team focuses on the aerodynamics, weight reduction, and design and optimization for each part of the vehicle.

Through team involvement with technical projects, Eco Illini team members develop both their technical and professional skills that are valuable as the students transition from school into the work force.

There are so many applications to mechanical engineering, and Eco Illini gives a new perspective on what the field can look like, said team president Graham Campbell.

“Eco Illini provides a great opportunity to work on both gas and electric cars and gives students valuable career experience. We take pride in pushing technology forward through the lens of environmental sustainability,” Campbell said.

Interested in getting involved? Visit the Eco Illini website or come in person to workdays or general meetings to join the roster. Interested students can also email Graham Campbell at to learn more about how to get involved.