Guinness World Record for Fuel Efficiency - Driving the Globe on 24.4 Tanks


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Journey's End

John and Helen Taylor Complete 18,467-mile Journey, Achieve Average of 52.1 Miles per Gallon, and Teach Drivers How to Stretch Their Fuel

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LONDON, April 4 -- After 78 days and 18,467 miles, John and Helen Taylor have set a Guinness World Record for Fuel Efficiency after successfully driving around the globe using only 24.4 tanks of Shell gasoline and averaging an impressive 52.1 miles per gallon. The Taylors' challenge began on January 17 in London and ended this morning in the same city after driving across 25 countries using Shell FuelStretch driving principles to help them maximize their fuel efficiency.

Initial estimates had the Taylors setting the Guinness World Record in 50 fill-ups or less; however, the estimate was lowered several times along the journey as the Taylor's fuel economy improved. The first of its kind, the new "Shell Fuel Economy Challenge" Guinness World Record marks the achievement of the lowest fuel consumption during a circumnavigation of the globe by an unmodified standard car. To achieve the record, the journey had to cover no less than 18,467 miles. Shell fuelled the journey and shares credit for the record with the Taylors.

"It's been the trip of a lifetime -- absolutely unforgettable," says John Taylor. "A true technical challenge, and a real test of endurance for all the team involved. I am so proud to have set the record with Shell."

"It's a tremendous thrill to be back, having travelled so far and on so little fuel," added Helen Taylor.

The Secret to Their Success: Shell FuelStretch

Despite driving challenges including a tornado in Australia, a historic snowfall in Greece and rough roads in Pakistan, the Taylors averaged 52.3 miles per gallon throughout the challenge by sticking to Shell FuelStretch principles. That represents a 52% percent increase above the manufacturer's fuel economy estimate for the Volkswagen Golf FSI 1.6 the Taylors drove on the journey -- according to the owner's manual the vehicle averages 34.4 miles per gallon. Some of the FuelStretch tips the Taylors employed on the world's roadways include simple actions such as avoiding idling and higher speeds, minimizing vehicle drag and performing regular vehicle maintenance. For a complete list of these driving tips, visit http://www.shell.com/us/fuelstretch .

"The fact that the Taylors used about 344 gallons of gasoline to travel around the world should be confirmation that using FuelStretch driving techniques and practicing regular vehicle maintenance can improve your fuel economy," says Mark Ferner, Shell Fuel Economist. "I want to get the most out of every fill up and we want our customers to do the same -- incorporating these principles into your daily routine is an easy way to get the most out of every purchase."

Tales From the Road

The married couple, who were accompanied by a crew of five, shared equal time behind the wheel. They averaged 14 hours per day and had countless memorable experiences along the way, from the bitter cold weather in Macedonia and the scorching heat in the Australian outback to the beautiful Lake Lucerne in Italy and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

The Taylor's North American leg began on March 16, taking them through California, Arizona, Texas, Mississippi, Illinois and Michigan. They also drove north into Canada and finished the leg in New York on March 26. They averaged 54.5 miles per gallon over 4,413 miles on the North American leg.

Along their global journey, the Taylors met Ministers of State and Maori warriors, they were entertained by dancing camels, rap artists and monkeys, and they encountered motorized rickshaws in Bangkok. But, the most heart-warming experience was the welcome they received by the public wherever they travelled. The entire journey was chronicled in daily blogs and photos posted at www.fuelchallenge.com

The Guinness World Record Requirements

For the attempt to qualify as an official Guinness World Record, the Taylors had to travel in one direction and cover a distance of at least 18,000 miles, but no more than the full length of the Equator. There were 18 other strict rules regarding the record attempt, some of which include East/West co-ordinates, log books, independent witnesses, pre-travel engineering checks and driving times.

Additionally, Guinness required that the car be a standard production model that was powered by one gasoline type throughout the journey. The Taylors chose a Volkswagen Golf FSI 1.6 because it represents average cars on the road today, and a European fuel formulation from Shell that was compatible with the vehicle. The European fuel the Taylors used has important similarities to the Shell gasolines currently available in the U.S. -- both contain powerful detergents that can help keep critical engine parts clean, which can help improve engine performance.

"We share The Taylors' passion for fuel economy and are glad they chose Shell to fuel the ultimate road challenge," added Ferner. "We are extremely proud of their accomplishment."

Shell Oil Products US, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company, is a leader in the refining, transportation and marketing of fuels, and has a network of approximately 6,600 branded gasoline stations in the Western United States. Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Shell Group [ and ]. For more information, please visit http://www.shell.com/. Motiva Enterprises LLC refines and markets branded products through more than 9,000 branded stations in the Eastern and Southern United States. Shell Oil Company is a 50 percent owner of Motiva Enterprises LLC, along with Saudi Refining, Inc.

Royal Dutch Shell plc

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 145 countries with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of Liquefied Natural Gas and Gas to Liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects including wind and solar power. For further information, visit http://www.shell.com/ .

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