Make the Future Live Malaysia 2019 was opened today at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia in a flag-off ceremony led by Dr Nagulendran Kangayatkarasu, Deputy Secretary General for the Malaysian Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) and Iain Lo, Chairman of Shell Malaysia.
At the heart of Make the Future Live is Shell Eco-marathon Asia. Now in its tenth year, the Asian edition of Shell Eco-marathon returns to where it was first held, bringing together over 100 student teams from 18 countries across Asia Pacific and the Middle East to test which car can go the farthest using the least amount of energy.
One of the world’s longest-running student competitions, Shell Eco-marathon is a global programme that challenges bright student minds to design and build ultra-energy-efficient cars, and then put them to the test in competition.
“This year, Shell Eco-marathon has returned to Malaysia to celebrate a decade of competition between Asian universities. Each year, we see an increase in innovations in vehicle design, in fuel efficiency performance, as well as in participant team spirit. The flag-off that kick-started Shell Eco-marathon Asia today will not just start the competition but also signals the beginning of many journeys of discovery in cleaner energy,” said Datuk Iain Lo, Chairman of Shell Malaysia.
“I thank MESTECC for their support and look forward to working with more leaders to provide more platforms that encourage our youths to explore sustainable solutions to meet future energy demands,” he further added.
The student teams will be competing in either of two categories of the competition: Prototype – futuristic and highly aerodynamic vehicles – or UrbanConcept – vehicles that resemble today’s cars.
2019 sees a rather even participation in the vehicle types with 55 student teams participating in the UrbanConcept category and 53 student teams competing in the Prototype category. Students will compete in three different categories based on their selected energy source: Internal Combustion Engine (ICE): Gasoline, diesel, ethanol (biofuel); hydrogen fuel cell; and battery electric power.
Vehicles must pass a detailed technical inspection before they are allowed onto the track to see how far they can go on the least amount of fuel. As of today, over 45 student teams have passed the technical inspection.
The competition concludes on Thursday at the Shell Eco-marathon Drivers’ World Championship Qualifier where the best UrbanConcept teams in the region will compete for their place in the Drivers’ World Championship in London in July in an exciting head-to-head race to find the most energy-efficient driver.
In addition, a small number of Shell Eco-marathon student teams are taking part in the development of a potential global category for the future. The Shell Eco-marathon UrbanConcept Autonomous Category continues to be developed with students, academics and businesses to build a category that can provide a challenging competitive arena for students to test their ideas and skills.
In Asia, teams have the opportunity to exhibit their UrbanConcept car in autonomous mode at Make the Future Live Malaysia. The driver will demonstrate their car moving along a stretch of track without their hands or feet controlling the vehicle. More details about the developing category will be available in due course.