UAEU students to show super-efficient car at Shell Eco-Marathon, Singapore

AL AIN, 11th March, 2017 (WAM) — Built from scratch, light on its wheels and designed to drive 1,500 kilometres (km) on just one litre of fuel, a super-efficient car that was created by students at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is about to be put to the test.

Five engineers will take their ultra-low energy vehicle to Singapore in March, to compete in the annual global Shell Eco-Marathon Asia.

Team UAEU spent four months to design, build and test the model, which they hope will overcome fierce competition from all over the Middle East and Asia.

University competitors must fund, conceptualise, design, build, test and modify their own vehicles to run on an energy source of their choice in one of two categories. The first is the prototype section, where drivers squeeze into low-slung cars while lying on their backs, and the second is an “Urban Concept” category for standard-looking cars that are built for real-world use.

The contestants can use fuels that range from hydrogen and battery power to traditional fuels, as well as alternative sources such as ethanol, and technical experts will calculate how far they can travel on a single litre of fuel. So, team UAEU chose diesel.

“We want to raise the flag of our country high,” said UAEU College of Engineering student and team member, Omar Aljassmi. “We want to challenge ourselves and test the knowledge that we have all developed over our last five years at UAEU, and to see if we can do something that our university will be proud of,” he added.

“It has been a short time in development, so it has been a challenge. But the car is special. We used a new concept, a very low-weight car, which we derived from our brainstorming sessions,” he further added.

While concept is one thing, making it a reality is another. “The competition is about low consumption of fuel and energy,” stated Aljassmi. “So, we needed to get the car to a low weight with very specific requirements for the engine,” he further stated.

“We built the car entirely from carbon fibre, so it is really light and very, very strong. We also designed it with aerodynamics in mind, which means the body can resist low air to deal with the drag. We programmed the engine to work with less fuel,” he added.

“Our target is to be able to drive 1,500km with a single litre of fuel, and we will achieve it,” he further added.

This is the first time that any of the UAEU team members have competed in the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia. “We want to get first place,” said Aljassmi, who thanked the university for providing AED100,000 of funding for the project.

Dr. Hamad Al Jassmi, Head of Graduations Projects Unit, College of Engineering, said, “Additional to the university’s support, the team received generous support from our industry partners,” he said. “Shell backed them with US$10,000 of funding. Strata provided full access to their workshops, manufacturing facilities and raw materials. Etihad Airways waived car shipment expenses to and from Singapore,” he added.

Source: Emirates News Agency