SUNY Canton Staffer Tops 200 mpg in a Home-Built Automobile

SUNY Canton OnLine staff member Jerry J. Bartlett has once again proven that he can top the fuel efficiency of some of the most modern vehicles on the market with his home-built diesel coupe.

Bartlett, who graduated from the college in 2004, recently competed in the 11th annual Toyota Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International racetrack. Bartlett rallied for a second year in his home-built diesel Urba Centurion and picked up an award for the most innovative vehicle.

Jerry Bartlett's Urba Centurion

“All of the parts of the car are designed to work together,” he said. “The body’s aerodynamic design allows it to cut through the wind. The three-cylinder Kubota engine maximizes fuel efficiency and gives it enough horsepower to achieve highway speeds.”

Final tallies estimate his creation at about 250 mpg. In comparison, the Toyota Prius is Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated at 51 mpg, and the Tesla Model S is EPA rated at 95 mpg.

While the official results of the competition are not in, Bartlett expects to be in contention for the Most Fuel-Efficient Vehicle award. He tied for the Green Grand Prix title last year against a completely electric vehicle.

Bartlett said his statistical data navigator Peter J. Cutler, assistant director of SUNY Potsdam’s Center for Graduate Studies, was instrumental in the record run. The two traveled 98 miles around the racetrack, using .391 gallons of diesel fuel, which cost $1.25.

Jerry J. Bartlett, SUNY Canton OnLine learning systems manager stands next to his 200 mpg Urba Centurion.

Jerry J. Bartlett, SUNY Canton OnLine learning systems manager stands next to his 200 mpg Urba Centurion.

His car is based on designs by Robert Q. Riley. Bartlett first saw the Centurion plans in a 1982 copy of “Mechanix Illustrated.” A version of the car was used in the movie “Total Recall” for its futuristic appearance.

Bartlett said that much of the engineering and inspiration for his vehicle is a result of his involvement on an online Ecomodder Forum, which outlines everything from sustainable driving habits to electric vehicles. Many of the members of the online community participated and received awards at the rally.

“I want people to know that they can do what I have done,” he said. “It’s not easy, but it can be if you take it one piece at a time.”

The Toyota Green Grand Prix is an event dedicated to efficient auto technologies and fuels, energy management and ecological driving styles sponsored by a not-for-profit corporation of the same name.


About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses, as well as 10 exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.

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