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Students take recyclable, electric car to Singapore

Engineering students take recyclable, electric car to Singapore in world-first

A team of University of Canterbury engineering students gave their fully recyclable, electric car its final test run, today, in preparation to compete at the Shell Eco-marathon Asia, in Singapore.

This is the first time a team from New Zealand has entered the Shell Eco-marathon in its 69-year history.

The University of Canterbury (UC) students will compete with hundreds of other students to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car. The primary goal of the competition is not to break speed records or finish first but to build a vehicle that can last the longest on as little fuel as possible.

The team’s faculty advisor, Bruce Robertson, says testing has been showing the UC car was competitive.

“Data collected from testing shows the car is a potential winner, but the students know that the competition in Singapore is going to be tough so there is a feeling of tense excitement building up to their departure.”

In a world first, the UC students have produced an electric vehicle made entirely from thermoformed plastic sheets, including the chassis and the outer panels. In accordance with the competition rules, students have also designed and developed all of the car’s electric motor controller electronics and software.

UC Mechatronics Engineering student Frank Sullivan will drive the car in the competition.

“It’s been awesome to be able to collaborate with my friends – to create an electric vehicle and now compete with it on the world stage. It’s been an amazing experience and I can’t wait for Singapore,” he says.

Although energy efficiency is the core focus, the competition includes awards for vehicle design and innovation, health and safety, and teamwork.

Every year, Shell Eco-marathon sees about 5,000 student participate, applying their skills and getting hands-on training and knowledge in the field of low-carbon mobility. The competition inspires the engineers of the future to turn their vision of sustainable mobility into reality and sparks passionate conversation about energy efficiency and what could be possible for cars on the road.

This year Shell Eco-marathon Asia will welcome more than 100 teams in Singapore from March 16-19, 2017. Regional Eco-marathons will also be held in Europe and America with the world finals in London 30 June – 3 July.


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