Indian teams win big at the Virtual Shell Eco-Marathon Asia Off-Track awards
The Shell Eco-Marathon is a competition for students aiming to develop mobility solutions typically belonging to three categories: battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and internal combustion engine (petrol, ethanol, or diesel), with prizes awarded separately for each vehicle class and energy category. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Shell Eco-Marathon, and would undoubtedly have been an extravaganza, had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced the event to adopt an online format.
That said, around 50 teams from 16 different countries, including eight student teams from across India, participated in the first edition of the Virtual Shell Eco-Marathon Asia Off-Track Awards. The students submitted their entries with video content to show their work in action. Jury members connected online to select the winners for the six award categories: Vehicle design (Prototype and Urban concept), Technical innovation, Communications, Safety, and Circular economy.
The winners were announced in a virtual ceremony live on Shell Eco-marathon’s Instagram and Twitter, led by Shell Eco-marathon Global General Manager Norman Koch, with Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Driver Charles Leclerc joined the ceremony as a special guest.
The Indian teams bagged awards in four out of six categories, each team receiving prize money worth $3000 (or approximately Rs 2.27 lakh). The list of winners is as follows:
1. Team Eco Titans from Vellore Institute of Technology won the Communications Award for their integrated communications efforts including elements like cross-nation seminars, exhibitions, rallies, radio segments and social media outreach.
2. Team Pravega from the Government Engineering College, Barton Hill, Thiruvananthapuram, won the Circular Economy Award for creating an eco-friendly prototype made completely from bamboo fabric combined with glass fibre and powered by electrical energy.
3. Team DTU E-Supermileage from the Delhi Technological University won the Vehicle Design Award in the Prototype category for their aerodynamic and fuel-efficient vehicle design which included a carbon fibre (G1CM) body structure.
4. Team Inferno from the Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bengaluru, won the Safety Award for their remarkable approach to safety including standardised protocols for drivers, vehicle transportation, battery management, risk assessments and overall on-site best practices.
Talking about their journey, Sanjeev Poduri, team manager, Team Eco Titans, VIT University said, “This victory is special as 2020 has been a difficult year for us. We had put in everything in preparation for the event and we are so glad to have seen this come to fruition. As the team manager all I can say, no matter what adversities occur, hard-work and dedication always pay off. We would like to thank Shell for giving us this wonderful opportunity by finding a virtual solution, not letting our efforts go to waste and rewarding our work.”
Speaking about his team winning the Safety award, Sree Tejas S, team manager, Team Inferno, Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, said, “Team Inferno is happy to register its first off-track award win and would like to take this as a motivation to strive harder for future wins at SEM competitions. Congratulations to the entire team for its continuous and unrelenting efforts towards Inferno. A special thanks to all our seniors and our respected guide Mr. Khalique Ejaz Ahmed for their efforts in shaping this win. A huge congratulations and many thanks to Shell for successfully conducting the first ever virtual SEM. We are happy to be a part of this historical event and immensely proud to represent and even more so to win an award for India at a prestigious international competition!"
“We are proud of the student teams representing India in the 2020 Shell Eco-marathon Asia Off-Track Awards. I would like to congratulate all the winners and participants who have done a remarkable job in demonstrating future-ready, innovative and energy efficient vehicles. It is inspiring to see the enthusiasm and passion in these students despite the unprecedented and trying times. We will continue to empower talented minds to make our country a destination for efficient and sustainable mobility solutions”, said Nitin Prasad, chairman, Shell Companies in India.