140-team endurance race promotes “smarter mobility” through fuel efficiency, innovation Fuel-efficient vehicles are the way of the future, which is what makes the Shell Eco-marathon one of the world’s most compelling events of its kind. A major annual event for universities, colleges and technical institutes from across the globe, it tasks brilliant young students with challenging the ultimate in fuel efficiency by designing and constructing a vehicle that can “run the longest distance with minimal fuel”.
“With an ever-growing global population, the demand for energy continues to increase, adding more pressure on the energy supply,” said Daniel Ng, Director of Shell Hong Kong Limited, during the Cheering Day for Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2012. “As an energy company advocating innovation and technology, Shell believes that talent and innovation are the keys to the energy challenge. For this reason, we proactively advocate the idea of ‘smarter mobility’, a message that is at the very heart of the Shell Eco-marathon.
“Hong Kong is an innovation hub with a wealth of creative and talented young people. The SOPHIE team, which is going to represent Hong Kong in the competition, has set a perfect example. We want to provide young people with the opportunities to put creative thinking into practice as well as to broaden their horizons,” added Mr. Ng.
First launched in Europe in 1985, the Shell Eco-marathon later expanded to America and Asia. This year the Asian competition will be held at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A total of 140 student teams from 18 countries and territories will compete to see who can go the furthest using the same amount of fuel within a limited time. The competition has two categories, the prototype and the urban concept. Participating teams can also choose from a variety of energy sources, including diesel, gasoline, hydrogen, fuel cells, solar and bio-fuels, among others. A champion and a first-runner-up are crowned in every fuel group.
In addition to the competition, the event features a wide array of other activities including large-scale exhibitions and discussion forums on energy innovation and “smarter mobility” for the 1,000-plus participating students, providing additional opportunities for youngsters from different cultures and with different energy concerns to exchange views.
“The Shell Eco-marathon appeals to the SOPHIE team because it combines energy research and actual experimental opportunities,” said Dr. Michael Fung, Principal, Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Tsing Yi). “Rarely do researchers have the opportunity to test their solar vehicles at a venue like the Sepang International Circuit. We want to inspire more young people to explore engineering-related subjects, and promote green transport and sustainable development. We are looking forward to meeting teams from other countries and getting real-life experience of the fuel efficiency of SOPHIE on a Formula One race track.”
“Although I am the team’s driver, I do not feel particularly stressed because we work together as a team, and we all share in our successes and learning,” said Tin-ching So, driver for the SOPHIE team
Added Ka-ming Tse, a member of the SOPHIE team, “I volunteered to join the competition because of my interest in electronic engineering. There were numerous obstacles in making this solar vehicle, yet we have always been very optimistic and believe that every problem will have its solution. We are very confident about our design and hopeful about our performance in the competition.”
For more information, please visit the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2012 homepage at http://www.shell.com/home/content/ecomarathon/events/asia/
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Bonnie Chu, Communications Manager 2506 7344
Shell Hong Kong Limited