London’s Olympic Park was buzzing with excitement as the first Make the Future Live festival of innovation opened its doors to thousands of visitors and students gathering for Shell Eco-marathon Europe, the ultra-energy-efficient driving challenge.
More than 3,000 students from schools and universities in 34 countries are hoping to set records at the 31st edition of Shell Eco-marathon Europe, driving cars they’ve designed and built.
Brazilian football legend Pelé kicked off the Make the Future Live festival, which expects 40,000 visitors between June 30 and July 3.
The competition features cars in two categories, each of which can use a range of energy sources from gasoline, diesel and battery power to hydrogen, ethanol and compressed natural gas (CNG). Cars in the Prototype category are low-slung and aerodynamic, with only enough room for a driver to lie down. The UrbanConcept category features cars that look more like road-going models.
Schoolchildren mingled with more than 200 teams of student mechanics making last-minute tweaks to their cars ahead of the tough technical inspection. Some children clambered over the Shell concept city car, unveiled in April, while others dreamt of driving in the Shell Eco-marathon themselves.
“I’ll be back here next year to be the test driver, once my legs are long enough to reach the pedals,” says nine year old Finley as he emerges from one of the UrbanConcept cars.