(CBS) — It’s all about the gas mileage as students from Northern Illinois University prepare for a competition next month.

Last year, a team from NIU was able to achieve more than 1,300 miles-per-gallon on their prototype car involved in the Shell Eco-Marathon competition. This year, the team is putting a lighter carbon-fiber body on the car used last year in hopes of getting up to 1,800 miles-per-gallon.

Northern Illinois University team member Kevin Kuebrich says the competition this year will be in Detroit and run 30-to-40 miles.

“They give you a set amount of fuel at the beginning of the race” and at the end of the race, the fuel is weighed, the difference taken into account and the miles-per-gallon calculated, Keubrich says.

Kuebrich says last year’s winner had a pill-shaped car that went almost 2,000 miles per gallon.

The 26-year-old NIU says the team’s pill-shaped entry sits about a foot and a half off the ground and is 10-feet long and three-feet wide.

The Shell Eco-Marathon is in Detroit from April 9-12.