Last week, energy major Shell unveiled its concept city car in Bengaluru which, if it were ever to go into production, could deliver material reductions in energy use in the road transport sector.
Last week, energy major Shell unveiled its concept city car in Bengaluru which, if it were ever to go into production, could deliver material reductions in energy use in the road transport sector. The three-seater car, the company claims, is tangible proof of energy-efficiency improvements that can be achieved by using cutting-edge technology available today through a process of co-engineering—whereby vehicle body, engine design and lubricants are all created together.
Shell says its concept car—it doesn’t have a car-like name yet, but is called the Project M—would deliver a 34% reduction in primary energy use over its entire life cycle when compared to a typical petrol-powered city car. “It would use around half the energy required to build and run than a typical small family car available in the UK, and 69% less than that of a typical SUV,” the company said in a statement.
The Project M is a rethink of the Gordon Murray Design T.25 city car produced in 2010 for which Shell produced a prototype oil to improve the vehicle’s energy efficiency. Gordon Murray is a British designer of Formula One race cars and the McLaren F1 road car. “Project M is the result of a co-engineering collaboration between world’s leading vehicle, engine and lubricant designers, with each of the three elements of the vehicle tailored to work optimally with each other,” Shell said.
This three-seater car runs on petrol, weighs only 550kg, and has already completed 4,800-km on test tracks and rolling roads, where it achieved a mileage of 38kpl at a speed of 70kph. In addition, a number of the car’s components were created using 3D printing to accelerate construction. It uses recycled carbon fibre for its body that can be assembled for a quarter of the price of a conventional steel car, and almost the entire car can be recycled at the end of its life.
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“The ultra-compact concept car uses a bespoke formulation of the Shell Helix Ultra engine oil with PurePlus Technology. The specifically ‘designed’ engine oil is a pioneering 0W-12 formulation, one of the very latest viscosity grades. It not only complements and enhances the overall efficiency of the vehicle, but also helps enhance fuel-economy of the vehicle by 5%,” the company said. Essentially, the project shows the role that lubricants can potentially play in helping achieve carbon-dioxide reduction targets. As of now, the company has no plans to mass produce the car.