More than 100 teams from 20 countries around the Asia-Pacific region will gather this weekend for the first Shell Eco-marathon (SEM Asia) in Singapore.

The global competition challenges students to push the boundaries of energy efficiency.

After spending a year designing and building their cars, students will roll them out on a custom-made track at Singapore’s Changi Exhibition Centre.

Participants compete in two categories. In the Prototype category, drivers will squeeze into low-slung cars, lying on their backs to steer around the 1.19 km track. In the UrbanConcept category, cars have a more conventional design.

Teams competing

This year’s teams include Team Panthera, an all-female group from India. Their vehicle, the Iris 2.0, will compete in the Prototype category reaching speeds of up to 55km/hr. They hope to drive 300km on a single litre of fuel.

New Zealand makes its debut at the Shell Eco-marathon Asia when the EnduroKiwis from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch roll their UrbanConcept car onto the track.

Team Bumi Siliwangi 4 from Indonesia will return with a brand new car in the UrbanConcept category.

History has set a high bar. At last year’s competition in Manila, Philippines, the Thai team How Much Ethanol from Panjavidhya Technological College in Bangkok clinched first place in the Prototype category with the equivalent of 2,040 kilometres per litre (km/l). It set a new event record for Asia.

Victory off the track

Teams in Singapore will also vie for off-track awards that recognise outstanding approaches to safety, vehicle design and technical innovation. In 2016 Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) won four out of five off-track awards including plaudits for their 3D-printed car as well as innovative marketing and meticulous attention to safety.

The Drivers’ World Championship

The top UrbanConcept teams from Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2017 will be selected to compete in the first Drivers’ World Championship (DWC) Asia on March 19. The race will crown Asia’s most efficient driver.

The best three teams will then be invited to take part in the DWC Grand Final in London in May where they will represent Asia and compete against top teams from the Europe and America.

Who will be this year’s top performers?

Shell Eco-marathon Asia runs from March 16 until March 19. There are several ways to follow it:

The competition will be part of the first-ever Make the Future Singapore festival. The four-day public event will showcase ideas for addressing the global challenge of generating more energy while producing less carbon dioxide (CO2).

More In Shell Eco-Marathon Asia

For Asia participants

If you’re a participant or want to join Shell Eco-marathon Asia, see all you need to know about the competition.