By Rosie Chamuryan
Students from ELAC’s auto technology department are building a fuel efficient car that is scheduled to compete at the Shell Eco-marathon in Houston, Texas next Thursday through Friday.
T h e S h e l l E c o – m a r a t h o n challenges high school and college student teams from around the world to design, build and test energy efficient vehicles.
With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, the winners are the teams that go the farthest distance using the least amount of energy.
The Shell Eco-marathon began in 1939 as the ‘Shell Mileage Marathon’ when a group of Shell engineers at a group laboratory in the United States challenged one another in an internal competition to see whose car gave the best mileage.
That idea was brought back several decades later and served as the inspiration for the introduction of the first Shell Eco-marathon Europe, in 1995 and aims to inspire engineering students to develop new approaches to sustainable mobility and fuel efficiency.
The Shell Eco-marathon is an educational project that provides participating students with a r a n g e o f v a l u a b l e h a n d s – o n experience.
Students are required to apply a range of academic disciplines, such as engineering, mathematics, physics, computer science and computer-aided design.
A team of four volunteer students have been planning for this competition since mid-October and began building it on Jan. 10.
E l a n s I r v i n g Mo r a n , J u a n Castillo, Aaron Cardon and team-leader Juan Villanueva have put in approximately 50 hours a week into designing and building the car.
“We’re all racing to get the most miles per gallon”, said Moran.
The car will compete in the prototype three-wheeler categories and has been custom built for the driver, Cardon.
Either conventional fuels, such as diesel, petrol and liquefied petroleum gas, or alternative fuels, such as solar, electric, hydrogen, ethanol, biofuels and gas to liquids can be used to power vehicles.
It cost about $6,000 to build the car, which was funded through grants and sponsorships.