Three teams from Singapore’s tertiary institutions have won top awards at Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2019 held at the Sepang International Circuit, Selangor, Malaysia from 29 April to 2 May student teams at the Shell Eco-marathon were competing to see which vehicle could travel the furthest on one litre of fuel (and its equivalent). Shell Eco-marathon is a unique global programme for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) students to design and build ultra-energy-efficient cars, and then race them on the track in competition.
The Nanyang E Drive team from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) topped the UrbanConcept hydrogen category with their Nanyang Venture X (NV X) setting a record of 94km/m3.
What was more impressive was that they eventually beat the top 3 teams from each fuel type of the UrbanConcept category - Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Internal Combustion Engine and Battery Electric, at the Drivers’ World Championship (DWC) Asia qualifier. It was a race to see who crosses the finish line first without running out of their limited allocation of energy.
On the last lap, driver of the NV X, Colin Loh, 22, a NTU Renaissance Engineering Programme student, was at the crest of the slope when he noticed the leading Indonesian team slowing down and seized the opportunity.
“It was nerve-wracking as we were a close second for most of the race. Our secret was honestly just very good teamwork – the team, monitoring every aspect of the car, letting me know how much energy to use and where to use it. It was a very well-coordinated effort and that to me was the key to our success”, reflected Mr Loh.
The top three teams from the Asia qualifier will face off against the best UrbanConcept teams from the Americas and Europe in the Drivers’ World Championship to be held at Make the Future Live in London, UK, on July 5, 2019. The ultimate winning team will be rewarded with a visit to Scuderia Ferrari's headquarters in Maranello, Italy.
NTU bagged a total of US$6,000, winning US$3,000 each from topping the hydrogen UrbanConcept category and the Vehicle Design (UrbanConcept) Award.
In the hydrogen Prototype category, the teams from Temasek Polytechnic (TP) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) retained their titles from last year’s event. TP ECO FLASH won US$3,000 for coming in first with an efficiency of 403km/m3, while runner-up, NP, received US$2,000 with an efficiency of 122.5km/ m3.
Team manager and driver for NP’s The Black Order, Justin Wong, 24, from the Mechanical Engineering course, attributed their team’s two-year consistent track record to innovation. His team built in an innovative double-wishbone suspension and a bamboo-aluminium chassis into their car, which was uncommon for Prototype vehicles. The usual practice is prioritising lightness over driver comfort.
“The ride experience in the cabin was extremely smooth. My vision from the cabin wasn't affected by the vibrations,” Justin reflected, so he could focus on pushing the vehicle to its limits.
In addition to the winning teams, three other teams from NTU, Republic Polytechnic and NP passed technical and safety inspections to represent Singapore on the track in the battery electric UrbanConcept category.
For TP team manager, Wu Tingheng, 22, from the Mechatronics course, the journey of preparing and finally participating in the Shell Eco-marathon has been rewarding. “I didn’t like engineering. However, once I got on the team, I deepened my expertise, levelled up and it has really boosted my interest in the subject,” he said.
For photos and more information on Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2019, please visit: https://www.shell.com.sg/sustainability/communities/shell-in-the-community/stem-education/shell-eco-marathon.html