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Day 1: Afternoon

Mr Byyung-Kwan Cho smiles as he stands next to the gleaming rocket-like car his students have devoted endless hours to building. Team Kuty from South Korea is one of only seven to have passed technical inspection by early afternoon.

“We had to move the seatbelt holder up and adjust the chain guard,” he says. “But we succeeded second time and are very happy!”

After fine-tuning the car’s brakes, Team Zeal Eco-Power from China is also through. They hope to drive soon.

“We have strict specifications – cars must pass safety and technical tests,” says Joe Redfield, who is testing the battery electric vehicles. “If they don’t meet all the requirements we won’t allow them onto the track.”

South Korea students celebrate test success

South Korea students celebrate test success

Filipino hospitality

Not everyone has attempted technical inspection yet. Team MIT Eco-warriors from India arrived safely in Manila – but their car didn’t. It got stuck somewhere in transit. The students are desperate to compete – even if it requires building an entire car in two days.

After a plea for body parts last night, Team De La Salle offered to lend them their Prototype car from 2012 – minus some parts they are using in their new vehicle. It was housed on their university campus, just 30 minutes away.

“We’re glad to help,” says Ephrem Silvano. “I’m sure they’d do the same for us – and it’s the Filipino way!”

The Eco-warriors now have a race against time to buy and assemble the car’s missing parts.

“We might be up all night,” says team member Senthil Subsannanian. “But we are so thankful!”

SEM Asia 2014 cars

Thoughts for the day

The Powering Progress Together forum held at the nearby Manila Hotel sparked wider debate around global energy challenges.  Expert speakers included Dr Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies at the India Centre for Policy Research, who highlighted Asia’s growing water constraints which, in turn, increase pressure on energy and food.

On energy, Shell Chief Financial Officer said: “Natural gas has huge potential as a means of diversifying – and therefore securing – the region’s energy future at a time of rocketing demand.”

Out on the track students are showing energy diversity in action, with cars powered by a range of sources including hydrogen, battery electric and GTL.