Shell Eco-marathon: UAE team suffers setback

Manila // A team from the UAE suffered a setback in the Shell Eco-marathon, where students from across the globe are testing their ultra-efficient vehicles.

Without Limits, from the Higher College of Technology in Ruwais, had an accident in their ultra-efficient diesel-operated vehicle. “If we don’t have accidents, we won’t learn. Today, I learnt,” said Ibrahim Al Nadabi, a team member.

No one was injured and the car suffered minor damage to the left body frame, which was immediately repaired.

The team manager Abdulaziz Almeiri blamed the track’s clockwise direction. “It’s very counter-intuitive trying to steer to the right compared to last year’s [counter] clockwise direction,” he said.

Three Emirati teams are competing against 126 other groups to find out who can build the most fuel-efficient car.

Shell’s technical adviser Norman Koch said that the new circuit was more challenging, and as a result he doesn’t “expect to see the same distances as in previous years”.

Manila is the first stop on a three-phase tour of the eco-marathon, which then heads to Detroit in April and concludes in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in May.

The eco-marathon began as a friendly bet between Shell scientists in Illinois to see who could drive their car the farthest on one gallon of fuel in 1939. It has turned into a global event to encourage engineering students to explore new techniques for fuel efficiency.

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