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Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2012 flags off teams on track to define the future of mobility
Simon Henry, Chief Financial Officer, Royal Dutch Shell plc kicked off the ceremony earlier today. “It’s amazing to see how much effort and passion goes into building these vehicles. The ingenuity and creativity of our young scientists and engineers are an inspiration to us all, and shows what we might expect from cars of the future,” said Mr. Henry.
He was joined by Yang Berhormat Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, chief executive officer of Malaysia’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), who commended the Shell Eco-marathon Asia participants on their innovative vehicles: “The students’ attempt to be more innovative and create the vehicle of the future, is a small step but the right one that we need for the world to move into a (sustainable) future.”
Ambassadors, stakeholders and business leaders from Malaysia and around the region, were also among the over 1,500 guests who came to witness the innovative vehicles the teams brought to the track.
The annual event, created by Shell, requires student teams to design, build and test vehicles that can go the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. Following similar events held in the Americas and Europe earlier this year, the Asian leg of the competition welcomes 119 student teams representing 18 countries/territories across the region showcasing their futuristic designs at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The winning team in the Prototype category set a record of 1,521.9 kilometres on a single litre of fuel at the inaugural Shell Eco-marathon Asia in 2010, and last year’s winners recorded an impressive 2,213.4 kilometres on the same amount of fuel – enough to drive from Kuala Lumpur to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.
The Prototype category invites student teams to enter futuristic concepts – streamlined vehicles focused on maximising fuel-efficiency through innovative design elements. The UrbanConcept category focuses on more “roadworthy” fuel-efficient vehicles. Aimed at meeting the real-life needs of drivers, these vehicles are closer in appearance to the higher-mileage cars seen on roads today.
This year’s Shell Eco-marathon Asia sees a total of 81 Prototype and 38 UrbanConcept entries from the region. Student teams will take to the tracks over the next two days to conduct supervised trials and official attempts for their best performance ahead of the closing of the competition and prize-giving ceremony on July 7, 2012.
Following the flag-off ceremony, Mr. Henry opened the Future Energy, Smarter Mobility Forum which saw 150 policymakers and stakeholders from around the region in a panel discussion on present and future energy issues and solutions. The forum aims to drive dialogue on issues relating to smarter mobility, sustainable transportation and city planning in countries across Asia.
Held at SIC, against the backdrop of the student event, the forum highlighted future growth trends in urban mobility, urging leaders of today to address the need for sustainability and explore the feasibility of alternative fuels to meet the energy challenges of tomorrow. The session began with a keynote address by YB Sri Idris Jala, followed by a lively discussion by panelists Asfaazam Kasbani, Assistant Resident Representative (Environment & Energy Cluster) for the United Nations Development Programme, Malaysia, Edward Clayton, Director, Booz & Company (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Mark Gainsborough, EVP Global Commercial, Shell, with Datuk Wong Sai Wan, Executive Editor of The Star, Malaysia moderating.
“At Shell, we’re working to accelerate innovation and make mobility smarter – from more efficient vehicle fuels to liquid fuels made from cleaner natural gas. But it will take more than just technical innovation to satisfy the demands of a growing global population. We need to invest time and money in developing new partnerships to match commercial expertise from the private sector with the regulatory expertise of the public sector for a more sustainable future,” Mr. Henry said.
The judging process for seven Off-Track awards also begins today. New awards such as for “Eco-Design,” “Best Team Spirit” and “Perseverance in the Face of Adversity” are available this year to motivate student teams to go beyond the technical competition.
The Sepang International Circuit will be open today, July 6 from 2:00 pm to 7:00pm and tomorrow, July 7 from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Visitors should enter via the Paddock Club Entrance and can watch the event from Paddock Club (PC) 1.
For more information on all Shell Eco-marathon events across the globe, including official rules, instructions for registration and details on prizes, please visit the Shell Eco-marathon website at www.shell.com/ecomarathon.
About Shell Eco-marathon
Shell Eco-marathon began in 1939 at a Shell research laboratory in the United States as a friendly wager between scientists to see who could get the most miles per gallon from their vehicle. The winner of that contest barely achieved 50 mpg (21 km/l), and from these humble origins, a more organized competition evolved. In 1985 in France, Shell Eco-marathon as we know it today was born.
In April 2007, Shell Eco-marathon Americas event was launched in the United States, and in 2010, the inaugural Shell Eco-marathon Asia was held in Malaysia. Malaysia will continue to host Shell Eco-Marathon Asia until 2013, following which, the event will move to Manila, Philippines from 2014 to 2016.
Head, Asia-Pacific Media Relations
+6 012 282 1765
Shell Spokesperson, Asia-Pacific
Shell Spokesperson, Asia-Pacific