The team in 2017, with their hydrogen-powered vehicle Evora.
The waiting is over. After months of preparation, the teams participating in the Singapore leg of the Shell Eco-marathon have finally reached the finish line. Or should we say the starting line. During the event, the energy-efficient vehicles built and designed by students from across Asia were put to the test.
In five attempts, team TP ECO FLASH from Temasek Polytechnic won the Shell Eco-marathon Asia by achieving a maximum range of 404 kilometres with one cubic metre of hydrogen. H2GO, from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore, covered 381 kilometres, ranking second. Team Eco-Voyager technically covered 267 kilometres with one cubic metre of hydrogen, coming in third out of four in the prototype category. In the race, cars drive a fixed number of laps at a set speed. Organisers calculate their energy efficiency and maximum range, thereby determining the winners.
Among the urban concept cars, where more street-worthy designs are encouraged as opposed to the efficiency focus in prototype, UiTM Eco-Planet successfully completed the technical inspection, but did not participate in the actual race. The winners, NTU Singapore 3D-Printed Car, covered 46 kilometres.
Before the event, we talked to two of the teams participating in the hydrogen category to learn more about challenges, highlights and any last-minute nerves!
Eco-Voyager, University of Malaya
Having come in second in 2017, team Eco-Voyager was hoping to build on the learning and experience from last year.
Facts and figures:
Team name: Eco-Voyager
Car name: Evora
University: The University of Malaya
First Shell Eco-marathon: 2014
Position in 2017: 2nd
Where did the name Evora come from?
The name was inspired by Lotus Evora – a British-made sport car.
What do you do in the week before a race?
In the week before a race, we really focus on our strategy with the driver. And of course make final preparations ahead of the technical inspection to make sure everything goes smoothly.
What are your tips for the driver?
We normally tell the driver not to go too fast. Travelling at high speed consumes too much hydrogen and isn’t efficient.
Have you changed your car this year?
We haven’t made too many changes to our car, although we do have a better electrical system.
What have you learned in the run up to the race?
It’s all about communication. And working as a team. Oh, and of course, you should always stick to the plan!
Do you have any concerns?
Our worst fear is that the mechanics fail during the race.
How would you describe the SEM in three words?
An awesome event!
Having not qualified for the final race in 2017, this year UiTM Eco-Planet is back with a new and improved car – and a determination to succeed.
UiTM Eco-Planet from Malaysia poses for a team portrait in 2017.
Facts and figures:
Team name: UiTM Eco-Planet
Car name: TM18
University: Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam
First Shell Eco-marathon: 2010
Who is Team Eco-Planet?
We are from a university club open to all students, but the majority of us are from the engineering faculty.
Tell us more about last year.
Last year, we passed the technical inspection but didn’t make it past the valid run. Obviously we were disappointed – but you live and learn!
Have you made changes to your car?
This year we have worked a lot on the body of the car. We wanted to make it more aerodynamic to improve its efficiency in the race.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Time. Making a car takes longer than you might think! As we are all students, we have to balance the Shell Eco-marathon with our studies, normally using weekends and semester breaks to focus on the car. With less than a week to go, we are around 90% finished.
What has been your biggest highlight so far?
The opportunity to exchange ideas with others. We are all from different engineering faculties – chemical, electrical and mechanical – so you gain insights about your subject as a whole.
And biggest learning?
We have learned a lot about cars and hydrogen mobility, but also about management and coordination. We have been working with many different people, companies and departments, so you have to stay organised.
Do you have any advice for students considering taking part in the SEM?
Make sure you are prepared – both mentally and physically. You might not get too much sleep in the run up to the race!
Do you have concerns about the race?
We just hope everything goes to plan.
And finally: your three words to describe the SEM?
Fun. Exciting. Great.