Petrochemical company Shell has been organising the energy efficiency festival, called Shell Eco-marathon, for over 30 years. The 2018 Asia-Pacific edition held at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore witnessed participation of over 120 teams from engineering and technology institutes from 18 countries, including 9 teams from India.
Speaking to Autocar India, Norman Koch, general manager, Shell Eco-marathon, commented “the Shell Eco-marathon is not about speed, it’s about fuel efficiency. So we invite the brightest and smartest future scientists and engineers to come here and design, build and test drive a vehicle that could go the furthest distance using the least amount of energy.”
These students showcased their energy efficient prototypes and competed in two different categories – prototype and urban concept – with each having three sub-categories, namely internal combustion engine, battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell.
Breaking records this year was Team Panjavidhya1 from Panjavidhya College, Thailand, whose prototype participating in the ‘internal combustion’ engine sub-category stole the limelight by achieving a jaw-dropping efficiency of 2,341.1kpl, beating last year’s record of 2,289kpl by a team from Guangzhou College of South China University of Technology, China. Some key factors that aided such figures were lightweight construction, low rolling resistance, an aerodynamic design, frugal engine tuning and of course a sound driver strategy (which involved coasting with the engine turned off yet maintaining momentum around the track).
Winners of the other sub-categories in the main Prototype category were Team Huaqi-EV, China, in ‘battery electric’ and Team TP ECO FLASH, Singapore, in ‘hydrogen fuel cell’, which achieved 511km/kWh and 404.3km/m3,respectively.
In the Urban Concept category, ITS Team 2 from Indonesia won in ‘internal combustion’ by achieving 314.5kpl, Team LH-EST from Vietnam won in ‘battery electric’ by achieving 129.3km/kWh, and Team NTU Singapore 3D-Printed Car from Singapore came out victorious in ‘hydrogen fuel cell’ by achieving 46km/m3. Winners of the Urban Concept category will face off against those of teams from the Americas and Europe in the Final round that’s scheduled to be held in London on July 8, 2018.
Team 520 DTU Supermileage from Delhi Technical University was the only team from India which bagged an award for their communications strategy. The team’s communication stood out as it involved social media influencers like professional female bike racer, Neharika Yadav, and the Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia, to spread the word.
A team from Pakistan’s National University of Sciences and Technology won the award for ‘Perseverance and Spirit of the Event’ because, after it was apparent that they’d not clear the technical round, the team gave away their car’s engine to another team that was in desperate need for one. Not only that, they also gave away parts of their car to 20 other competing teams and shared their facilities and tools with others, which made them truly worthy of the award.