Three-time champion Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam, has again emerged victorious in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia (SEMA 2017) competition held in Singapore. University of Malaya made it a magnificent 1-2 finish for in the Hydrogen Prototype category.
UiTM and University of Malaya were two of seven Malaysian student teams that competed in various categories at SEMA 2017. Other institutions include Monash University, Multimedia University Melaka Campus (MMU), and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.
The UiTM Eco-Sprint team fielded their much improved, batik-inspired hydrogen prototype vehicle named “Chantenk.” Utilising a monocoque chassis, Chantenk shaved off kilograms compared to the predecessor. The vehicle managed to achieve 359km/m3 to clinch the title.
On the other hand, University of Malaysia’s Eco-Voyager team with their hydrogen prototype “Evora” managed 256km/m3 to take runners-up spot.
Shell Eco-marathon is a student competition that challenges students in the domains of engineering, design, science and technology to design, build (and drive) the most energy efficient vehicle.
Students compete in two main categories – UrbanConcept and Prototype. UrbanConcept vehicles resemble today’s road-going cars, albeit super energy-efficient versions. Prototype cars are futuristic, highly aerodynamic vehicles that push the boundaries of what’s possible with energy-efficiency.
Cars are subsequently subdivided into three categories based on energy source – Internal Combustion Engine (ICE): gasoline, diesel, ethanol (biofuel), Gas to Liquid (GTL), CNG (compressed natural gas; Hydrogen fuel cell; and Battery Electric power.
There were total of 123 teams, representing 20 countries in the competition, held over four days at the Changi Exhibition Centre, Singapore.
Teams are required to pass a stringent 190-point technical inspection before they are even allowed on track. The vehicle inspection covers design, dimensions, safety, brakes and other variables.
The competition isn’t just about designing and building cars. Students are required to manage the project cars on their own. This covers things like financing, marketing, finding sponsors and, etc.
Winning teams from each category take home USD3,000 for their school. Teams also have a chance to win four off-track awards that cover vehicle design, safety, communication and innovation. A special award is also presented to the team that shows the best team spirit and grit.