“The spirit of the Shell Eco-marathon is really bringing people together and helping each other to solve the global energy challenge,” said Shell Malaysia Ltd. Country Chairman Iain Lo during a ceremony held at the Manila Hotel’s Tent City on July 29, handing over the hosting duties to the Philippines. The Shell Eco-marathon Asia has been held at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur for the past four years.

Lo recalled pioneering achievements in the regional competition’s history, such as Thailand’s Dhurakij Pubdit University achieving the record distance of 1,500 kilometers traveled on 1 liter of fuel with its eco-car in the first Shell Eco-marathon Asia. Most importantly, the same team broke such record for fuel efficient driving by achieving more than 2,900 kilometers per liter. “It just shows you that with dedication and hard work, innovation can bring you really stunning achievements,” enthused Lo.

The handover event brought together past and present Filipino student participants to the Shell Eco-marathon Asia, as well as their respective schools’ engineering faculty members, and volunteers from both Shell Philippines and Malaysia. Lo thanked the Malaysian government and the participating Asian countries and students for having made his country’s hosting of the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia a success.

A glass-encased scale model of an Eco-marathon prototype car was then presented to SciP country chairman Edgar Chua to symbolize the handover, which was also received by Philippine government officials led by Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. and National Parks Development Committe executive director Juliet H. Villegas; as well as by Atty. Joey Lina, president and director of Manila Hotel, and Armi Cortes, vice president for sales and marketing of Manila Ocean Park.

The Department of Tourism and Manila Ocean Park are among the partners of SciP in hosting the Shell Eco-marathon Asia in Manila.

“We are looking forward to a three-year experience which will definitely make participants understand why it’s ‘more fun in the Philippines,’” said Chua, borrowing the tourism slogan coined and popularized by Tourism Secretary Jimenez.

Most importantly, the 2014 Shell Eco-marathon Asia coincides with the celebration of 100 years of the global leader in power, energy and gas technology in the Philippines. “As Shell aims to meet the world’s future energy needs with a diversified energy mix and cleaner energy, Shell enjoins consumers and businesses to use energy better, to do more with less, and make energy conservation and sustainable mobility a way of life,” stated Chua. 

Ronald Suarez, NGO and Stakeholder Relations Manager of Pilipinas Shell, disclosed that the Shell Eco-marathon Asia in Manila will introduce a number of firsts.

“Instead of a Formula One racetrack, the race will be held for the first time in a road track and in the heart of a city,” said Suarez. The next generation technology cars designed and fabricated by student teams from participating Asian countries will be road-tested around the famous Rizal Park and judged by a panel of technical experts.

The 2014 Shell Eco-marathon Asia will also feature an interactive Energy Fair and an international conference of global and local experts in energy, food and water.

During the handover, Pilipinas Shell also formally awarded to its winning teams the trophies and cash prizes they garnered at the 2013 Shell Eco-marathon Asia Off-Track Awards. The DLSU Eco-car Team Ice from De La Salle University received the Communications award, while Team Aguila from the Mapua Institute of Technology received the Technical Innovation award. The University of San Carlos’s Team Lahutay II also landed second place in the Shell Student Energy Challenge, a new infographic contest about future energy visions, in partnership with the National Geographic.

The Manila handover ceremony also saw two Shell Eco-marathon model cars that were test-driven inside the venue at Manila Hotel’s Tent City. The prototype eco-car made in Europe and the urban concept version made in Taiwan circled the tables, impressing attendees with their design and innovative components.