With roots going way back to 1939, the Shell Eco-marathon has taken its time to come to India. This time around, the focus is on “Powering progress in mobility, together.”
So what is the Shell Eco-marathon, and should you be interested? Well to that, I’d say, totally! With fuel efficiency a mantra in India this competition pushes students into developing innovative solutions for the same. Participants have to achieve the maximum mileage on one litre of fuel and they do this in bespoke built cars by shedding weight, minimize rolling resistance and improving aerodynamics. Now that might sound quite intimidating; and I can assure you that it is. They also have to choose between two categories – Prototype and Urban Concept – classified by factors such as weight, dimensions, and more. Furthermore, there are three sub-categories based on engine type – Internal Combustion, Battery Electric and Hydrogen Fuel Cell.
This event saw the participation of 20 teams; 19 of which were from India, and the one from Oman. Each team had their vehicle and its team members set-up in the pit garages of the MMRT, working and perfecting their car for the marathon. Apart from just testing their cars at their college and on track, their vehicles also had to go through a rigorous technical inspection by the people at Shell, only after which they could qualify to take part in the Marathon.
Scrutiny done, it was time for the participants to head to the track where each participating car had to do 4 laps. After some intense tiptoeing with everyone trying to extract the most fuel efficiency out of the last litre of their fuel, the results were added up. The on-track awards were given to three teams – Team Eco Titans, who managed 129.2 km/litre in the ICE Prototype category; Team DTU Supermileage, who managed a whopping 154 km/litre in the ICE Urban Concept category (imagine that: Mumbai to Pune on just one litre of fuel; amazing!); and finally Team AVERERA, who managed an astonishing 362.5 km/kWh in the Battery-Electric Prototype category.
The event has given young and passionate engineering students a strong platform to showcase their talents. With electrification, efficiency and emissions being important keywords thrown around these days, competition amongst students is just what would make all these a distinct possibility.