Engineering students from the country are geared up to showcase extremely energy efficient cars designed by them from the scratch at an all-Asia platform in February.
Hailing from varied engineering backgrounds such as mechanical, industrial, electronics and electrical, information science and instrumentation technology, the students formed teams and built prototype vehicles that can run on engines ranging from 49cc-80cc.
While some vehicles are battery operated, others run on either gasoline, hydrogen or diesel; and give a mileage of anywhere between 150 and 386 kmpl.
“We have built it entirely from scratch, in the process cutting our fingers, bruising our hands, running around the city procuring material,” says Kushal Koundinya from Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore.
Seventeen teams from across India, including colleges in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi etc are participating in the Shell eco-marathon in February, which awards prizes to those who have designed a vehicle that can travel farthest using the least amount of energy.
Students feel the experience that came about right from finding sponsorships, to sourcing materials, to applying all they have learnt for building their vehicles will go a long way, specially when they enter the job market.
Building their vehicles from the scratch has cost each team upwards of Rs3-4 lakh, for which they had to approach corporate sponsors as well as their institutes, “in the bargain getting to learn a lot about how to fund our ideas,” say students.
According to Yasmine Hilton, chairman, Shell Companies in India, the idea behind the marathon is to encourage students to design and test vehicles, and apply their skills.
“Students get to build their skills in technology, mathematics, business and science, besides creating awareness about environment.”
The most from the least
Shell Eco-marathon is an annual event dating back to 1939, when Shell Oil Company employees in the US made a friendly wager over who could travel furthest on the same amount of fuel.
Success in this marathon is measured on who can drive farthest on one litre of fuel, and become the most efficient team by thinking creatively about energy efficiency. The Eco-marathon is happening in February 2014 in Manila in Philippines, with 145 student teams, including 17 from India.