The Shell Eco-Marathon will be part of the company’s ‘Make the Future India’ event this year. The event will be held in Chennai from the 6th to the 9th of December.
In essence, it is a student design competition aimed primarily at nurturing innovation among engineering students. Participants are required to make the most limited resources and design, build and test energy efficient vehicles.
The competition is split into 2 categories - Prototype and UrbanConcept. In the Prototype class, efficiency is given maximum importance, while passenger comfort is almost certainly compromised. To get an idea of just how uncomfortable these Prototypes can be, check out our very own Saumil having a go in one here.
The UrbanConcept class, on the other hand, features more practical designs where passenger comfort is given higher importance.
The vehicles are also classified by energy type, into internal combustion engines, and electric mobility. The ICE vehicles can run on petrol, diesel or any liquid fuel made from natural gas or ethanol, while the electric vehicles have a choice between hydrogen fuel cells or lithium-based batteries to supply the energy to their motors
Various Indian teams have participated in the competition overseas in the past. The team from IIT Bhubaneshwar engineered an electric three-wheeler that managed an efficiency of 131.8Km/KWhr in the 2017 chapter of the event in Singapore. Compare that to the 5.4 km/KWhr achieved by the Tesla Model S 100D, and you get an idea of just how impressive their feat is. Another team from Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore, built a vehicle using a 100cc motorcycle engine that managed over 100kpl in 2016. The students from BITS Pilani also built a car that ran on ethanol produced from garbage.
For college teams interested in taking on this challenge, here is where you can register.