Themed ‘Future of Energy’, the SEM Asia Challenge 2014 brings together more than 150 young technical enthusiasts, representing 16 countries across Asia and the Middle East, who will be driving vehicles of the future that they have designed and built themselves around a circuit in Manila.

This is considered the fifth SEM Asia Challenge, where this year brings four participating countries from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar and the UAE, represented by eight teams; two from each country. The Shell Eco-marathon challenge is to drive the farthest possible distance using one litre of fuel, making the most energy-efficient car a winner.

“It gives me great pleasure to see Egypt universities participate so enthusiastically for the first time – we encourage and promote the development of innovative ideas about energy efficiency and sustainable mobility among university students” said Jeroen Regtien, Vice President and Country Chairman of Shell Egypt N.V.  “Today, Egypt is facing significant challenges related to the growing population and consequently a growing demand on energy in all its forms – we need to pay close attention to inefficient use of energy and work together to fix them.  The Shell Eco-marathon is one of our initiatives to address this issue”, Regtien added.  

By 2050, the number of cars on the road is expected to triple and a variety of fuels and technologies will be needed to meet the growing demand for mobility while limiting CO2 emissions. 

“We are very proud to be one of the two teams representing Egypt at SEM Asia Challenge 2014. It took us almost one year to design, build, fine-tune and test this carbon-fibre-made car, where our team, comprising of 25 engineering students used their best combined knowledge to create a car that minimizes energy losses using kinetic energy storage mechanisms, and efficient lubrication and control systems. 

Among the challenges we faced is the unavailability of some key spare parts and tools necessary for manufacturing the car, but we managed to raise funds to import them.  The whole experience was very unique, and I look forward to the Challenge”, said Kareem Hamza, Cairo University Team (CUT) Leader.

“We worked day and night to come up with a creative design and structure for an ultra-efficient vehicle that consumes a small amount of fuel and that is light weight with a unique shape.  It is very inspiring to create a car while pushing the boundaries of our innovative technology knowledge, with the hope that the world will do so one day.  As future engineers and scientists, it is a fantastic opportunity to meet our peers and learn from them at the Challenge”, added Mohamed Elwy, Ain Shams University (ASU) Team Leader. 

On the fringes of the Eco-Marathon Challenge, Shell will launch, for the first time in Asia, the Shell Energy Lab and the Shell Powering Progress Together (PPT) Forum. The Shell Energy Lab is an interactive exhibit that offers people of all ages a captivating and educational adventure into the future of energy, technology and mobility.

The PPT Forum will gather some 350 think-tanks from the public, private, and civil society sectors in a one-day event to address the challenges on what is known as the “Stress Nexus” which relates to the interrelationships of the vital resource systems of energy, water, and food.

Egyptian Teams at a Glance

Cairo University Team

  • Team Name: Team CUT2013
  • Average age: 20
  • Team size: 25 students and three supervisors
  • Car name: CUT13
  • Class: Prototype
  • Energy type: Gasoline
  • Car weight: 40Kgs
  • Unique features: Car body made from carbon fibre (strong body with a light weight). Car parts made from low density material such as aluminium alloys and polymers. Car engine is 35CC for least fuel consumption.
  • Records to beat: cross the 1000Km/Litres.

Ain Shams University Team

  • Team Name: Team ASU Racing Team
  • Average age: 21
  • Team size: eight students and two supervisors
  • Car name: Siraj
  • Class: Prototype
  • Energy type: Gasoline
  • Car weight: 25Kgs
  • Unique features: unique design that combines light weight with efficient aerodynamics.
  • Records to beat: No recorded attempt

Note: ASU Racing Team won 3rd place at the Shell Student Energy Challenge, held in 2013, out of 140 participating teams, making ASU Racing Team the first Arab team to achieve a ranking in this competition

About Shell Eco-marathon

Shell Eco-marathon began in 1939 at a Shell research laboratory in the United States as a friendly wager between scientists to see who could get the most miles per gallon from their vehicle. The winner of that contest barely achieved 50 mpg (21 Km/Litres), and from these humble origins, a more organized competition evolved. In 1985 in France, Shell Eco-marathon as we know it today was born.

In April 2007 the Shell Eco-marathon Americas event was launched in the United States. In 2010, the inaugural Shell Eco-marathon Asia was held in Malaysia. Malaysia hosted Shell Eco-Marathon Asia until 2013. In 2014, the event  is held in Manila, Philippines, which will continue to host the event until 2016.  The highest record achieved to date was in 2010 by a French team in SEM Europe who were able to drive 4,896.1 kilometers on a single litre of fuel – the approximate equivalent of driving from Egypt to the UK.

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