The interior of Shell's Project M. Image courtesy of Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell has unveiled a new fuel efficient concept car aimed at drivers traveling in metropolitan areas.

The car is an ultra-light, low carbon construction prototype with top speed of about 68 miles per hour.

The three-seat car, known as Project M, is a collaboration between Shell, Gordon Murray Design and Geo Technology.

According to a video provided by Shell, Project M gets 107 miles per gallon using real world test protocols.

Shell said that independent tests suggest the car can travel 26 miles on just 0.68 gallons of petrol at a steady 43 mph.

Project M performs best while traveling at between 31 to 43 mph.

In tests, the car produced at least a quarter fewer CO2 emissions than typical petrol-powered city and hybrid cars, Shell said.

The car’s body is made with recycled carbon fiber that helps reduce the vehicle’s overall weight to about 1,212 pounds.

The recycled carbon fiber body also cuts the energy used in manufacturing by up to 45 percent compared to city cars that are currently available.

Wing mirrors have been replaced with tiny digital cameras that relay the view of the road to screens inside the car, while new wheel-arch covers further reduce drag.

Geo Technology improved the efficiency of an engine currently being used in city cars for Project M that utilizes a diamond-like carbon coating to help minimize friction.

Shell scientists have also developed a special lubricant to help further reduce engine friction.

Project M uses a third less energy in its lifetime than a typical city car, Shell added.

“The lower weight and the aerodynamic improvement has been a significant factor in increasing the efficiency. So has the engine lubricant collaboration between Shell and Geo Technology. By working together we’ve achieved far more than we could have done on our own,” lead project design engineer at GMD Matt Brewerton said.

Shell itself has no plans to put the concept car into commercial production.


Leave a Reply