Shell hosts its Eco-marathon Americas edition, winners head to London


Shell has hosted its 2019 edition of the Eco-marathon Americas at Sonoma Raceway in California.

Launched in 1939 at a Shell laboratory to encourage innovation in the auto industry, the Eco-marathon is a global programme offering students an opportunity to develop ideas, technology, knowledge and skills with specific focus to emerging solutions such as electric vehicles.

The Americas edition started in 2007.

The main aim is to improve vehicles’ energy efficiency.

This year’s Americas edition included 88 high school and university students from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and the US.

Participants focused in two vehicle classes namely Prototype (ultra-efficient and light weight designs with three wheels) and Urban Concept (Roadworthy vehicles meeting real life needs of drivers).

The vehicles were subdivided into into three energy categories: Internal Combustion Engine (gasoline, diesel and ethanol), Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Battery Electric.

Students worked from Wednesday through to Saturday to pass technical and safety requirements for their vehicles to participate in the race. The requirements included each vehicle making eight laps for a total distance of 6.12 miles within 24 minutes.

The top three teams in the race will participate in driver’s world championship set for London in July where teams who participated in the Shell-Eco marathon in other continents will compete.

The winning teams are:

First place: Wawasee Gold, Wawasee High School

Second place: Mater Dei Supermileage 2, Mater Dei High School

Third place: Mater Dei Supermileage, Mater Dei High School

Shanna Simmons, global technical director at Shell Eco-marathon, said: “These students have dedicated countless hours to developing solutions that support a cleaner, lower-carbon energy future.

“The mileage challenge is a platform for students to test their theories on energy efficiency and receive hands-on experience before entering the workforce.”

Student teams also won awards for their work off the track, in the categories such as the:

Technical Innovation Award

Most Innovative H2 Award

Communications Award

Vehicle Design Award  

To learn more about Make the Future Live California, please visit the website.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.