FOUR Malaysian teams — two from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) as well as one each from Universiti Malaya (UM) and Monash University Malaysia — did the country proud by sweeping the top awards for their categories at the recently concluded Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2016 held in Manila, Philippines.
Team UiTM Eco-Sprint from UiTM scored a hattrick emerging as champions in the Prototype Hydrogen Fuel Cell category for the third year in a row, with another record-breaking mileage of 476 km/m3.
The university’s other team, Team UiTM Eco-Planet emerged as champions of the UrbanConcept Hydrogen Fuel Cell category once again, debuting a 3-D printed car that was assembled from 120 individually-printed parts, with each part taking approximately 10 hours to complete.
“We chose to 3-D print our car as it’s lightweight, economical, reduces fabrication time and ensures zero fabrication errors.
“As we only had a small, office-sized 3-D printer, we spent over 1,200 hours printing the individual parts which we assembled together when we arrived in Manila,” said Mohd Syafiq Akmal Samsudin from Team UiTM Eco-Planet.
Team Eco-Voyager from UM came in second place for the Prototype Hydrogen Fuel Cell category, recording a mileage of 244km/m3 and improvement over their previous year’s performance.
Meanwhile, Team Eco-Chaser from Monash University Malaysia clinched the top spot in the Prototype Compressed Natural Gas (“CNG”) category with a mileage of 95km/l, the approximate equivalent of driving from Kuala Lumpur to Port Dickson on just one litre of fuel.
This year’s winners beat 117 student teams from 17 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Australia. The competition challenges students to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car with a unique focus on going farther, not faster. Results are measured on who can drive the furthest on the equivalent of one litre of fuel.
Teams submitted vehicle entries in either the Urban Concept or Prototype category in any of the seven different energy types: gasoline, diesel, alternative gasoline (ethanol 100), alternative diesel (Shell Gas-to-Liquid or fatty acid methyl ester), battery electric, or hydrogen fuel cell.
In the “Prototype” category, student teams focus on streamlined vehicles on maximising fuel efficiency through innovative design elements, such as drag reduction. The “UrbanConcept” category focus on more “roadworthy” fuel-efficient vehicles. Aimed at meeting the real-life needs of drivers, these vehicles are closer in appearance to the higher-mileage cars seen on the roads today.
“The Shell Eco-Marathon brings together the best and brightest to tackle the world’s growing need for more and cleaner energy, especially when it comes to mobility in the future.
“The Malaysian teams this year have been truly inspiring; demonstrating vision, passion and technical expertise to drive future innovation.
“Shell is delighted that the Eco-Marathon has become a key platform for Malaysian students to develop and showcase their talent in science, engineering, technology, business, marketing and communications,” said Shell Malaysia spokesperson Leigh Wong.
The teams also competed for five Off-Track Awards that tested their technical and creative skills, as well as their approach to safety and sustainability. A panel of experts from various fields judged the students on a variety of categories that covered Communications, Vehicle Design, Technical Innovation, Safety and Perseverance and Spirit of the Event.