The free-to-public event, which ran from 25 May and finished today at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, hosted more than 25,000 guests of all ages, along with Countdown star Rachel Riley, gadget guru Jason Bradbury and Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon. The energy festival shone a light on the innovations of award-winning entrepreneurs from Shell’s enterprise development programmes. Attendees also saw futuristic vehicles built and driven by bright young engineers competing in the Shell Eco-marathon at London’s iconic Olympic Park.
Maths genius Rachel Riley helped open the festival, and celebrated with the students her passion for getting kids in to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). As the uniquely designed car creations took to the track, Rachel met with Sinead Lynch, Shell’s UK Country Chair, to support the girls on grid for Shell Eco-marathon.
A total of 171 teams from 29 different countries from Europe and beyond came to the capital to battle it out in one of the most prestigious energy efficient engineering challenges worldwide. After spending the last 12 months designing, building and testing their energy-efficient vehicles, these bright young minds in engineering took to the purpose-built 1,577km circuit to go as far as they could on the equivalent of one litre of fuel or 1kWh of electricity.
Young engineers competed in two main categories – one for Prototype vehicles and the other for UrbanConcept cars.
Winners of the Prototype categories included team Microjoule-La Joliverie from Lycee Saint-Joseph La Joliverie, France who beat their competitors in the Internal Combustion category with a fuel consumption of 2,503 km/l. In the Battery Electric category, Team Zero C from Itis Leonardo Da Vinci in Italy took home first place with a fuel consumption of 753 km/kWh, and team ThaiGer-H2-Racing Stralsund from Fachhochschule Stralsund in Germany won the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Award with their car that can travel 880 km/m3.
Competition was fierce in the UrbanConcept category. The Internal Combustion Award was handed to Toulouse Ingénierie Multidisciplinaire from INSA de Toulouse - Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III in France with a world record breaking fuel consumption of 684km/l. French students also took home the Battery Electric Award. Team SolarCarSolutions / ISEN Toulon from ISEN Toulon in France won with a fuel consumption of 186 km/kWh. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Award went to Green Team Twente from University of Twente in The Netherlands whose vehicle can travel 277km/m3.
The culmination of the global programme of Make the Future festivals is the Drivers’ World Championship series – a head-to-head race between the 2017 UrbanConcept winners from Americas, Asia and Europe – also returned to London after its introduction last year. Unfortunate weather conditions forced the race to be cancelled mid-way. Saint Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team Alpha from Saint Thomas Academy in the US was declared the winner as they were the fast team in qualifying.
Norman Koch, Global General Manager for Shell Eco-marathon said: “The European competition this year was particularly challenging, as the heat in London made an impact on the teams’ fuel-efficiency strategy on track, and later rain made conditions too unsafe to continue. That said, I’m thrilled to see such an incredibly high standard of performance, determination and team spirit among all teams.”
An exciting announcement around the future of mobility was made at Make the Future Live – a new Autonomous category will be introduced to Shell Eco-marathon in 2018, alongside the existing Prototype and UrbanConcept categories. One student team, from the Technical University of Denmark, are already working on their driverless car. A spokesman for the DTU team said: “When we saw Shell’s car last year, we saw what was possible and we knew we had to build one too. This is so exciting for us.”
Fresh new addition to the festival this year was the inaugural Make the Future Live – Lates, a special Friday evening event for over 18s, who were treated to an exclusive live podcast recording on stage by Intelligence Squared, debating how London could become the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2050. Joining them were special guests Richard Ayoade, former Gadget Show presenter Jason Bradbury and a panel of experts from companies like Grow Up Urban Farms, bio bean, and Moya Power.
Shell UK Chair Sinead Lynch said: “It’s been an honour to host Make the Future Live, featuring Shell Eco-marathon Europe this year. Showcasing some of the brightest energy ideas and supporting entrepreneurship is an essential part of the journey to a low-carbon future. Shell is committed to inspiring and supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs as we tackle the world’s energy challenges.”