Student carmakers from Thailand and Indonesia bagged the first-ever Shell Eco-marathon Asia trophy for designing and producing the most fuel-efficient futuristic prototype and urban concept vehicles in the region.
After three days of testing and driving at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, Shell declared the gasoline-fed Cobra 1 vehicle made by students from the Army Transportation Engineering School (ATE-1) of Kong Thabbok Upatham Changkol Kho So Tho Bo School of Thailand as the most fuel-efficient prototype which can run 1,521.9 kilometers per liter of fuel. The Shell Eco-marathon group conducted the fuel efficiency test by filling up a vehicle\'s fuel tank, letting the vehicle run four laps on the Sepang track, and then measuring the fuel consumed by the vehicle. The distance an entry vehicle can travel is computed based on factors like actual fuel consumption during the run and on the temperature of the fuel before and after the completed laps.
\"In our first two track runs, our car broke down, and our third and fourth attempts were also invalidated,\" ATE-1 team driver Kittiwong Kaewbumrung said. \"But we did not give up on our goal of finishing number one.\"
ATE-1 crushed Japan\'s CD04 vehicle record, which had led the competition by running more than 1,000km right from its first run. The team from Hyogo Prefectural Tajima Technical Institute of Japan ended on second place with its vehicle showing potential to run 1,235.1km per liter of FAME, a brand of clean diesel sold by Shell in Europe. Petrol-fed Autodesk ZEAL vehicle made by students from the Beijing Institute of Technology landed on third place with a record of 940.4km per liter.
The urban concept category was dominated by Indonesian teams lead by the group from Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology whose SAPU ANGIN 2 can run 237.6km per liter of gasoline. It was followed by entries from the University of Indonesia: EQUATOR (61.8km per liter) and Pasopati (54.5km per liter).
Only 54 of the 81 vehicles which made it to the Shell Eco-marathon finals managed to complete at least one full run consisting of four laps in Sepang.
Entries from the Philippines--all under the gasoline-fed prototype category--succeeded in completing the competition although their results were nowhere near the mileage posted by those from the top three winners.
Mapua Institute of Technology\'s Atalanta led the Philippine entries with a best result of 241km per liter, followed by the University of Santo Tomas\' 198km per liter and Don Bosco Technical College\'s 141km per liter. The Philippine competitors ended at ninth, 16th and 17th, respectively, in the ranking based on the fuel used for the contest.