Shell’s Eco-Marathon Features Eco-Friendly Vehicles Made by Students
By Neu Weetee
Can’t wait out a tiny traffic jam? Syllogistic reasoning should have told us by now that with over a billion vehicles on our planet, traffic jams are the least of our problems! The tricky part is figuring out how long earth’s energy supplies can sustain themselves before hitting rock bottom.
Luckily, proactive companies like Shell are trying to do something about this issue, against death-defying odds. The Shell Eco-Marathon (SEM) offers unique solutions by collaborating with a hundred and thirty student teams across eighteen countries to design revolutionary cars that offer high mileage while minimizing energy consumption.
SEM Asia allows students to enter under two separate categories- ‘’Prototype’’ and ‘UrbanConcept’. The former invites student teams to build futuristic prototypes-vehicles that feature innovative design elements. The latter focuses on ‘roadworthy’ vehicles that resemble normal cars.
This year, eight eager teams from across Singapore’s universities and polytechnics are taking to the streets, gearing up for the main competition at Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, from 4th to 7th July.
Showcasing Singapore’s Finest!
Most Singaporean teams have a track record of doing well at SEM. The NUS team, NUS Eco, is the defending champion for the Hydrogen Fuel Cell category. The group hopes to score a win for the third consecutive year! Conversely, Singapore Polytechnic’s Sunspec team is already preparing to enter its solar powered vehicle in the World Solar Championship, 2013.
At a test run held at Sentosa, the spirited student teams proudly unveiled their masterpieces. The majestic vehicles captivated viewers. Some came with entire shells made of carbon fiber, some with pretty neon lights! It was a magnificent effort on the part of the student teams, keeping in mind that these cars were built to minimize weight and maximize fuel-efficiency, and not for beauty alone.
Any eye-witness would concur that the perfection to detail in each car’s design is testament to every single student team’s dedication. These students are swiftly coming to represent a paradigm shift- the onus of developing sustainable energy solutions is constantly being passed down to younger generations. And though this burden may seem hard to bear, it looks like Singapore’s students are up to the challenge. Let us wish them the best of luck in Sepang!