Sonoma Raceway and Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Shell Oil Company announced Sonoma Raceway will be the 2018 location for Make the Future California featuring Shell Eco-marathon Americas from April 19-22, 2018.

Two challenges will make up the Make the Future California event. The Shell Eco-marathon Mileage Challenge is a competition among students for whose vehicle design can go the farthest on the least amount of fuel.

In addition, the Sonoma County event includes Shell Eco-marathon Drivers’ World Championship Regional Final - marrying energy efficiency with speed in a race to be crowned the regional champion, and secure their place in the Drivers’ World Championship Grand Final which will be held in London, 2018.

The event in April is expected to draw more than 1,000 students from across the Americas with their custom-designed and student-built energy-efficient vehicles.

Last year’s Shell Eco-marathon Americas’ winner, Université Laval from Quebec, Canada, recorded 2,731.1 miles per gallon with its ultra-energy-efficient gasoline powered prototype vehicle.

And in the UrbanConcept class, Mater Dei Supermileage Team from Indiana recorded top energy efficiency stats with 723.4 miles per gallon in its gasoline-powered vehicle.

Shell Eco-marathon is held annually in the Americas, Asia and Europe. 2018 marks the return of the competition to California.

The Napa Valley Transportation Authority and the Fairfield and Suisun Transit system have received federal grants for the purchase of electric buses, it was announced Sept. 18.

NVTA received a $1.1 million and will apply the funds toward the purchase of five new 30-foot electric buses.

The BYD 30’ battery electric buses will replace several vehicles at or near the end of their useful lives. All of the replacements are diesel powered heavy-duty buses that are past their twelve-year life span.

The battery-powered buses have a range of 150-miles, can run a full day on a single charge and recharge overnight. The vehicles produce zero emissions and make oil changes a thing of the past.

The total cost of the buses is estimated at $3.82 million, including the cost of purchasing the vehicles, accessories, and infrastructure, and charging stations. The agency is planning to order the buses in 2018 and put them into service by 2020.

The City of Fairfield will receive $1.2 million in grants to purchase all-electric, zero-emission Proterra 35’ Catalyst E2 buses and supporting charging infrastructure.

The grants are being processed through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Low or No-Emission Vehicle Competitive Program, which provides funding to state and local governments for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, as well as acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities. The federal program awards $55 million annually.