Shell Eco-marathon 2017

Monday 29 May 2017

The efficiency race where we show the actual potential of Shell Eco-marathon concept cars.

From Monday the 22nd of May until Sunday the 28th TU/ecomotive was in London for the Shell Eco-marathon 2017. This race is designed for efficient vehicles. The team which uses the least amount of energy to drive their laps around the track wins the race. We signed up for the race in the battery electric, urban concept class.

On Tuesday we started the technical inspection. When the inspection closed we were able to pass four inspections:

1. Driver weight : The minimal weight of the driver is 70 kg, so the lightest members are our driver so we can add their weight to 70 kg to be as light as possible.
2. Turning Radius : the turning radius of the car cannot be bigger than 6 meters.
3. Visibility : to be safe on track we have to be able to see what is going on outside. Since we have eight large windows we passed the test.
4. Brake test : the brakes of the car have to keep the car up a very steep ramp to be sure they work properly.

On Wednesday we continued the inspection and passed all but one flawlessly:

5. Seat Belt : Like any car we need a seat-belt. It has to be properly attached to be safe, and we did in the correct manner.
6. Exit time : In case of emergency the driver needs to be able to get out of the vehicle quickly. We could in under 10 seconds so we passed.
7. Design check : This test is to make sure we built our car according to the design rules. They were not sure about our wheel arches at first, but today we passed the test.
8. Vehicle dimension : We built Lina with the maximum dimensions possible, so we only just fitted through the checking gate, but we did pass!
(9). Energy configuration : All electronics have to be safe and secure. Lina passed the test but unfortunately they could not let us pass because we did not install a joule meter.

The one test we did not pass was the vehicle weight. Since Lina is built for the public roads she does not match the weight limit set by Shell at 225 kilograms. That is why we could not drive together with other contestant’s vehicles, for safety reasons. Of course we would not have come to London if we were not able to drive Lina on this beautiful track. Together with the Shell promotion cars, we were able to drive Friday afternoon during a special media slot.

In the time before the media event we made sure that Lina would drive as should. On Friday morning we drove on the test track to make sure all the software worked correctly. The testing went great and our driver made himself ready for the track. At 13:45 we were allowed on the track and we saw the green flag. Jérôme did not hesitate and powered Lina round with an amazing top speed of 55 km/h!

Although, we were not allowed to race in the actual competition we are very happy with our results at the SEM2017. We got a lot of media attention from the local news as well as the Shell. They loved our concept and are happy that we try to stretch the rules of the race to their maximum to show what innovations are possible. In addition, the team had a great time in London and were able to enjoy all the hard work we put in this project the last two years.

All our adventures in London can be seen on our YouTube channel or on our Facebook page.