Over 100 student teams from all across Asia and the Middle East have arrived in Manila to put their self-built fuel-efficient vehicles to the test on a street circuit in the heart of Manila, Philippines. Part of a larger student innovation competition across the Americas and Europe, Shell Eco-marathon Asia is in its seventh instalment and promises four days of non-stop action.
Shell Eco-marathon will be held for the third time and final time at a specially designed street circuit in Manila. The annual event is a reflection of Shell’s commitment to help the world meet its growing energy needs in a responsible way. Student teams are challenged to stretch the boundaries of fuel efficiency in a real world urban environment, and winners are determined by the mileage achieved on a litre of fuel, rather than speed.
Last year, participants set five new mileage records at Shell Eco-marathon Asia – with the Clean Diesel Team from Japan setting a new record mileage of 1,245km/l at the street circuit.
The Clean Diesel Team is also well-geared for this year’s competition, being the first team to pass the technical inspection.
“We are ready to build on last year’s success with new improvements to our vehicle and a refreshed team. We are confident that this update will go a long way to optimising our performance in the competition and aim to record and additional 300km/l. We have also been working really hard to make sure that we are well-prepared as a team. That said, we look forward to having fun and sharing ideas with other teams from the region,” said Toshinari Fujii, teacher and technical advisor of Clean Diesel Team, who has led the team for the last two years.
The Philippines’ top engineering schools have sent 28 teams to compete on home soil. They will be racing alongside students from universities, colleges and technical institutes across 16 other countries.
Presenting strong competition is two-time overall winner Thailand, whose teams won in the Prototype Battery Electric Category, Prototype Shell FuelSave Gasoline award and also clocked the highest mileage of the competition in a different category last year with 1,572 km, the approximate equivalent distance between Manila and Ho Chi Minh City, on a litre of ethanol.
Student teams may participate in the Prototype or UrbanConcept vehicle categories of the competition. The Prototype category will see student teams entering cars of the future – streamlined vehicles focused on maximising fuel efficiency through innovative design elements, such as drag reduction. The UrbanConcept category will focus 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 the roads today. A total of more than 100 vehicles – composed of Prototype and UrbanConcept models – have been entered for this year’s competition.
For both Prototype and UrbanConcept categories, teams may enter vehicles using any of the following energy types: gasoline, diesel, alternative gasoline (ethanol 100), alternative diesel (Shell Gas-to-Liquid or fatty acid methyl ester), battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell. Results for the electrically-powered vehicles are expressed in km per kilowatt hour (km/kWh), and in km per litre (km/l) for the other energy types. Students will have the freedom to exercise their creativity in technical and design aspects, with the condition that all vehicles entered meet specific safety rules.
This year’s youngest participants, 16 year-olds from the City of Bogo Science and Arts Academy in the Philippines, have designed a carbon-fibre vehicle in the shape of a raindrop. Named the Labyug, their vehicle is based research that has shown that the raindrop is the most aerodynamic shape. In addition, their vehicle runs on ethanol, which they envision would be extracted from sugarcane, which is bountiful in the Philippines.
Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2016 will see 24 On-Track awards with prize money of US$2,000 for Winners in both Prototype and UrbanConcept categories. In addition, teams will also be vying for five Off-Track awards: Communications, Vehicle Design, Technical Innovation, Safety, and Perseverance and Spirit of the Event.
Physically embodying the spirit of the competition and winner of the Perseverance and Spirit of the Event award in 2015 was Team Alfaisal from Saudi Arabia, who showed great resilience despite a delay in receiving their car onsite. Despite the loss of time, the team shared their materials and resources with neighbouring teams and even donated a spare engine to a competing Philippine team who faced sudden challenges with their engine.
In an instance of technical expertise, last year’s winners of the Technical Innovation award, Team Nanyang E Drive from Singapore, edged out the competition with the application of a novel steering mechanism which included stepper motor control, addressing the common occurrence of vehicles invariably lowering their speeds when turning corners. Both teams are participating again in this year’s Shell Eco-marathon Asia.
The flag-off ceremony for the student competition will be held on 4 March at the historic Rizal Park, while the closing ceremony and awards presentation will be held on 6 March at Fiesta Pavilion, Manila Hotel.
This year also marked the third edition of the Shell Powering Progress Together Forum at Shell Eco-marathon Asia, where 250 thought leaders, young talents and representatives around Asia Pacific gathered this morning to discuss challenges and potential solutions surrounding global energy, water and food resources. Running alongside Shell Eco-marathon, it featured eminent speakers from the Philippines and beyond.
Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2016 will also feature the newly introduced Energy Zone, an attraction that allows visitors to experience a captivating and educational adventure into the future of energy, cities and sustainability. A live Fan Zone will allow visitors to get close to the track, learn more about the challenge and grab a bite to eat.
Shell Eco-marathon has four Global Partners:
Hewlett Packard (HP): Official Global Information Technology (IT) Partner
Michelin: Official Global Paddock Partner and Tyre Supplier
The Linde Group: Official Global Paddock Partner
Southwest Research Institute: Official Global Paddock Partner
Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2016 is held in partnership with the Philippine Government: Department of Tourism, the City of Manila and the National Parks and Development Council. Private sector partners are Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, Globe Business, Hyundai, Isla LPG Corporation, Jollibee, Meralco, PolyKlear and Unilever Philippines.
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.