The Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2014 started today at SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia alongside the 61st Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers National Congress. Over 150 student teams from 16 Asian countries are expected to arrive in Manila to compete for the 5th annual Shell Eco-marathon Asia set for February 2014.

The circuit will be the first urban track for the Shell Eco-marathon Asia. It will be a 1.2 km course around Luneta Park. The streets will expose the vehicles to a variable road condition as opposed to controlled test tracks from previous eco-marathons. This poses a challenge to the participants as they try to make their vehicles as efficient as possible to suit true urban environments. Moreover, having the competition out on the streets can draw in more spectators, and create better public awareness.

The Philippines will be represented by 17 teams coming from Adamson University, De La Salle Dasamariñas, De La Salle University, Don Bosco Technical College, Mapua Institute of Technology, Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Manila, Technological Institute of the Philippines – Manila, Technological Institute of the Philippines – Quezon City, University of San Carlos, and University of Santo Tomas.

Development of the teams’ entry vehicles started last year with an aim to set the best fuel efficiency records. During the race, drivers have to complete 10 laps with only 1 gallon (4.5 liters) of fuel in their tank. This premise will push the student teams to think creatively and use new concepts into practice.

Aside from the student competition, the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2014 will also give way to the Shell Energy Lab and the Powering Progress Together Forum. These aim to improve the public’s awareness on issues of food, water, and energy resources through interactive programs for the family, government, businesses, and the rest of society.

“Hosting Shell Eco-marathon Asia in the city of Manila will provide an all-new setting for students across the Asia Pacific region to stretch the boundaries of fuel efficiency. We at Shell are committed to working with the next generation to help the world meet its growing energy needs in a responsible way. Time and again we are astounded by students’ innovation and creativity, and we highly anticipate the February challenge,” said Roberto Kanapi, Communications VP of Pilipinas Shell.

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