Student teams from 24 countries will gather in London for Shell Eco-marathon Europe, part of a global competition challenging young people to push the boundaries of energy efficiency.

More than 140 ultra-energy-efficient vehicles are expected to compete on a new 970-metre, custom-built track at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as the UK hosts the competition for the third consecutive year. The event will be held from Thursday July 5 to Sunday July 8 2018.

"The London track is particularly challenging for all teams," says Shanna Simmons, Shell Eco-marathon Global Technical Director. "We saw incredibly strong performance, determination and team spirit last year and expect this year's event to be equally exciting."

Driving energy efficiency

Shell Eco-marathon is one of the world's leading energy-efficiency competitions and is designed for students who are passionate about developing innovative mobility solutions.

It challenges students around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car they can. The teams use a variety of energy types, ranging from petrol and diesel, to electric batteries and hydrogen fuel cell.

The competition inspires students to become leading engineers of the future to turn their visions for more sustainable transport into reality.

Competing categories

The vehicle designs for competitors fall into two categories. The Prototype class focuses on maximum efficiency.

Energy efficiency is also important for the UrbanConcept category, but this class encourages more practical car-like designs.

In one of the contests, called The Mileage Competition, UrbanConcept and Prototype cars attempt to travel the farthest on the least amount of energy. Competing cars will cover 15 laps around the circuit at a set speed. There are two turns per lap – one at 180° and another at 90°.

Technical experts calculate their energy efficiency and identify the winner in each class and for each type of energy.

Last year's Prototype category winners included French team Microjoule-La Joliverie, who beat their competitors in the Internal Combustion category with a fuel consumption of 2,503 km/l (5,887 miles/gallon).

In the UrbanConcept category another French team from INSA de Toulouse was awarded for an internal combustion engine that recorded a world record breaking fuel consumption of 684km/l (1,609 miles/gallon).

The Drivers' World Championship

The culmination of Shell Eco-marathon is the Drivers' World Championship Grand Final - a head-to-head race between the 2018 UrbanConcept winners from Americas, Asia as well as Europe.

Last year weather conditions forced the race to be cancelled mid-way through. Saint Thomas Academy from Minnesota in the USA was declared the winner as they were the fastest team to qualify.

That team will return this year to battle against the winner of the European competition as well as Indonesian team, Universitas Gadjah Mada, which won the Shell Eco-marathon Drivers’ World Championship Asia trophy earlier this year.

Shell Eco-marathon Europe is part of Make the Future Live. The four-day public event will showcase ideas for addressing the global challenge of generating more energy while producing less carbon dioxide.

Who will be this year's top performers in London?

There are several ways to follow Shell Eco-Marathon Europe:

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Make the Future

We believe that in the power of people's ingenuity lie the answers to tomorrow's energy challenges. Together we can #makethefuture today.