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Newsletter February 2011


Going Electric—Eco Drive

Greek Team Wins Shell Eco-marathon Safety Award

The drive to develop low-emission transport is boosted by research departments at the world’s universities. In Greece, the Eco Racing Team at the Technical University of Crete (TUCer) has designed and developed a low-consumption urban vehicle that competes in the annual European Shell Eco-marathon (Urban Concept category). The TUCer Team won the 2010 ADAC Safety Award 1st Prize and achieved its best performance with a consumption of 373 km per liter.

The team from Crete was recognised for the integration into their vehicle design of many innovative and clever safety features, including a fitted adjustable steering column reducing impact damage to the driver in the event of collision, a small boot to contain first aid emergency rescue equipment, and a self-releasing cabin hood which is easily maneuverable internally as well as externally that improves the speed of driver evacuation.

TUCer’s first prototype was constructed in May 2008 and after two years of development the ER II vehicle was ready for its first race in May, 2010, that took place at the EUROSPEEDWAY in Lausitz, Germany, where it won the ADAC Safety Award.
The Urban Concept category was introduced to the contest in 2003 and is designed specifically for vehicles that are similar to normal cars and more conventional in design than the experimental prototypes in the traditional Shell Eco-marathon competition.

Team Information
• Participation Name: TUCer
• Category: University
• Race Number: 416
• Vehicle Category: Urban Concept
• Engine: Fuel Cell
• Class: Hydrogen

The principle of the Shell Eco-marathon is simple: to design and build a vehicle that will use the smallest amount of fuel and produce the fewest emissions possible. Teams may enter futuristic prototypes—streamlined vehicles where the only design consideration is reducing drag and maximising efficiency, or Urban Concept vehicles—built to conventional road-going vehicle criteria. Conventional fuels such as diesel, petrol and LPG, as well as alternative fuels such as solar, electric, hydrogen and biomass may power the vehicles. As long as the teams adhere to safety rules, the source of fuel is limited only by their imagination. The Shell Eco-marathon is a major educational project. Students are encouraged to reflect on potential solutions to both current and future transport and energy challenges and to explore ideas for more sustainable mobility. The objective is twofold: to help technical institutions secure talent for their technical courses and to promote future technical careers. By participating in the Shell Eco-marathon project young people get the opportunity to examine fundamental questions as: What technical solutions will make mobility sustainable and available to all? What behaviours must we adopt in order to manage our energy needs better? How can we maintain our current levels of comfort and enable others to reach comparable levels, while at the same time ensuring a viable and acceptable environment for future generations? While not claiming to have the definitive answers to these questions, Shell offers young people who are interested in the world of technology, energy and transport a unique opportunity to work in a hands-on manner to identify possible solutions to such critical, global challenges.

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