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New York Mills high mileage car gets 414 mpg

Kaylee Hughes, Max Carlson, an Air Force recruitment representative, Andrew Perala, Kacee Skoog and William Friese, all from New York Mills, competed in the high mileage competition in Brainerd recently. Submitted photo

Imagine traveling to St. Paul and back and burning just .856 gallons of gas.

If you were using one of the New York Mills High School's modified high efficiency cars, it would be possible.

Five students from the school participated in a high mileage competition in Brainerd last week, racing at speeds of about 30 miles per hour. At 414 miles per gallon, the group's best overall rate placed sixth.

Students William Friese, Kaylee Hughes, Max Carlson, Andrew Perala and Kacee Skoog all took an opportunity to test out their driving skills; however, many other students helped build the cars throughout the year. More than 5,000 hours of work went into them.

Besides passing a safety inspection, each of the three cars had to make six 6-mile runs. Each run had to be made in less than 24 minutes, using any measure to save gas, such as coasting.

"It's not just about building cars, it's about driving, too," Skoog said in an interview last week.

"I learned to accelerate around curves," Friese said.

The team upgraded two cars used last year and built a third car from scratch, an E85 model.

Lunds donated all the aluminum and the Air Force was NY Mills' biggest cash donator.