LONDON, UK, May 29, 2017 (ENS) - Make the Future Live, featuring Shell Eco-marathon Europe, concluded Sunday after a four-day event showcasing innovations that could transform transportation energy efficiency.
The free event attracted more than 25,000 guests to London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as futuristic vehicles built and driven by bright young engineers competed in the Shell Eco-marathon.
A total of 171 teams from 29 countries from Europe and beyond came to London after spending the last 12 months designing, building and testing their energy-efficient vehicles.
The teams took to the purpose-built 1,577 km circuit to go as far as they could on the equivalent of one liter of fuel or one kWh of electricity.
Norman Koch, global general manager for the 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," said Koch.
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 a vehicle fueled by compressed natural gas.
"MicroJoule's performance is the result of the tremendous research and innovation that has been going on for months with Del West and our partner GRTgaz," said Philippe Maindru, an engine development professor and creator of the MicroJoule project. "We have succeeded in developing a totally new engine."
In the Battery Electric category, Team Zero C from Leonardo Da Vinci in Italy took first place with a fuel consumption of 753 km/kWh.
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 went 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 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 program of Make the Future festivals was to be the Drivers’ World Championship series – a head-to-head race between the 2017 UrbanConcept winners from Americas, Asia and Europe.
Wet weather conditions forced the race to be canceled mid-way. Saint Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team Alpha from Saint Thomas Academy in the United States was declared the winner as they were the fastest team in the qualifying round.
A new Autonomous category for driverless cars will be introduced to Shell Eco-marathon in 2018, to compete alongside the existing Prototype and UrbanConcept categories.
One student team, from the Technical University of Denmark, is already working on their driverless car. A spokesman for the 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.”
Students from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands presented a car made of bio-composite. The car, nicknamed "Lina," is all made of natural materials - the chassis, bodywork and the interior.
The Eindhoven team explained that the 300 kilogram car is not only energy-efficient but also has been produced with a view to sustainability. The car is certified by the Netherlands Vehicle Authority as roadworthy and is can carry up to four people.
The Eindhoven team used a combination of bio-composite and bio-plastic for the chassis. The honeycomb structure bio-plastic is the core material and is manufactured entirely from sugar beet. It is enveloped in bio-composite sheets that have been composed on the basis of flax, a plant that is also grown in the Netherlands.
In terms of its strength-weight ratio, the bio-composite is comparable to fiberglass but manufactured in a sustainable way. The bodywork is also flax-based.
New to the festival this year was the inaugural Make the Future Live – Lates, a Friday evening event for over-18s. The audience was treated to a live podcast recording on stage by the London-based debate forum Intelligence Squared, debating how London could become the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2050.
Shell UK Chair Sinead Lynch said, “It’s been an honor 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."
PHOTO: Winner of the Prototype category Team Microjoule-La Joliverie from France in a team portrait at Make the Future Live 2017 in London. (Photo courtesy Royal Dutch Shell)