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UST, Don Bosco and Mapua gear up for first Asian version of Shell fuel-efficiency challenge
Some 108 teams from 12 countries have signed up to take part, and are busy putting the finishing touches to their vehicles for the ultimate fuel-efficiency challenge: design a vehicle that can travel the furthest distance on a limited amount of fuel.
These include teams from China (2), India (6), Indonesia (9), Iran (3), Japan (2), Malaysia (25), Pakistan (28), Singapore (9), Taiwan (1), Thailand (19), Vietnam (1)
The Shell Eco-marathon 2010 will be a truly global event, with events taking place in North America, Europe, and – for the first time – Asia. Around 5,000 students and their professors around the world will participate this year. Currently 393 vehicles from 316 schools have registered to compete in 2010. In total, 42 countries are represented.
The action kicked off in Houston on a recent sunny March weekend. On March 27-28, 50 teams competed at Discovery Green in the heart of downtown Houston, Texas, USA. This was the first street course in the series of Shell Ecomarathon, which brought the event to the heart of the community. Another first at the event: an all female team.
The Shell Eco-marathon Europe will follow next, from 6 to 7 May in Lausitz, Germany. Some 221 student teams from 24 countries will take part.
Shell Eco-marathon Europe has a history that goes back more than 25 years. Many significant records have been set throughout its history, and 2009 was another record-breaking year. It remains to be seen whether last year’s impressive overall record of 3,771km or 2,343 miles on a single litre of fuel, achieved in the Prototype section, can be bettered. The best record of 3,836km or 2,383 mil/l had stood since 2005!
Meanwhile in Houston, for the second year in a row, a team from Laval University in Quebec, Canada took home the grand prize with an astonishing 2,487.5 miles per gallon, equivalent to 1,057.5 kilometres per litre, in the "Prototype" category. And in the "UrbanConcept" category, the team from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, took the grand prize for the second year in a row by achieving 437.2 mpg, equivalent to 185.87 km/l.
"The competition was tough this year, plus participating on a street course for the first time was a whole new experience for us," said Bruno Leduc of Laval University. "We put a lot of time and energy into our vehicle this year and are very proud of how we did.”
Asian teams competing in Sepang for the first time will be challenged to match these records, or do even better.
Pointing to the global nature of this event this year, Mark Singer, global project manager for the Shell Eco-marathon said: “"The 2010 Shell Eco-marathon is a challenge that brings together high school and college students from around the world to push the boundaries and design mobility solutions. And, it is a clear demonstration that we're never too young to start making energy innovations and efficiency a priority."
Student teams were invited to participate in either the Prototype or UrbanConcept categories. For the Prototype category, teams entered futuristic prototypes – streamlined vehicles focused on maximizing fuel efficiency through innovative design elements, such as drag reduction. For the UrbanConcept category, teams entered more "roadworthy" fuel-efficient vehicles. Aimed at meeting the real-life needs of drivers, these vehicles are closer in appearance to the cars seen on roads today. For both categories, teams can use any conventionally available energy source – including fuels such as diesel, gasoline and liquid petroleum gas (LPG), as well as alternative fuels such as hydrogen, biomass and solar.
For the first-ever event in Asia, student teams will field 73 prototype; 27 urban concept vehicles. Eight teams are still deciding on their choice of vehicles.
All three entries from the Philippines are under the Prototype category.
In addition to the SEM Track Awards, there are 4 off-track Awards for Design, Innovation, Safety and Marketing, supported by Shell in partnership with two global sponsors: Autodesk and Michelin.
For more information on the Shell Eco-marathon, please visit www.shell.com/ecomarathon.