Shell has announced it is bringing its marquee event, the Shell Eco-marathon (SEM), to India for the first time. The SEM Challenger will be part of ‘Make the Future India’ to be held in Chennai during December 6-9, 2018. Shell’s ‘Make the Future’ is a global platform for conversation, collaboration and innovation around the world’s energy challenges. Applications for SEM opened on June 11 and will continue till August 28. SEM, which was first inaugurated in 1939, is the world’s longest-running student competition, where engineering college students are challenged to design, build and test fuel-efficient cars. Indian teams have been participating since 2010, but this is the first time the competition will be held in India. Shell said this is an opportunity for student teams to test their vehicles.
“For the first-timers, this would be a great platform to showcase their skill, be part of a world-class experience, and test drive their vehicles with fellow competitors on a professional circuit. Student teams that take to the track will be evaluated on the criteria of who goes the farthest on the least amount of fuel,” Shell said in a statement. There has been a demand from colleges to bring the fuel-efficiency competition to India, and this will allow widespread participation from students across the country. In the past, Indian students have showcased innovative and energy-efficient models and prototypes that also caught the attention of industry and government. For example, Team Averera from IIT (BHU) created a light-weight three-wheeled electric vehicle with customised motor controller, which clocked a mileage of 350-km on one litre of fuel.
The team from Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bengaluru, created the prototype with a 100cc motorcycle engine that clocked a mileage of more than 100kpl. Team BITS Pilani worked on a car that would literally run on garbage, using ethanol to drive its way into the fuel-efficiency competition. Nitin Prasad, chairman, Shell Companies in India, said, “We have seen the quality, quantity, ingenuity and interest of the teams only rise over the past few years. This was one of the motivations behind getting our global competition to India so that more teams are able to participate and leverage this unique platform.” India has been part of SEM for eight years. Since last year, Shell has enhanced its scope of search for tech innovation in clean energy and future transport alongside fuel-efficiency, and brought them under one umbrella—Make the Future.