Electricity + Control

A total of 20 teams will compete in various categories for the coveted title of most energy-efficient vehicle during the Shell Eco-Marathon SA to be held at the Zwartkops Raceway, west of Pretoria, on 27 and 28 October.

Running on almost empty2

After a year of preparation, bright young participants will have two days to battle it out in self-built vehicles in a quest to find the most energy-efficient car.

The University of Johannesburg’s School of Electrical Engineering, that will be hosting the South African chapter of this event, is excited about this opportunity to create exposure and recognition for its students on an international platform, as well as the opportunity to welcome international students to the university and showcase its outstanding academic programmes and education it has to offer.

“The Shell Eco-Marathon not only provides a platform for our young engineering minds to pit their skills against one another,” says Prof Johan Meyer, head of UJ’s school for Electrical Engineering. “It also offers exposure to real-world engineering problems and the challenge of team work.

“Very few things can provide the same thrill as when the knowledge of science meets reality to produce something extraordinary. The satisfaction on the faces of these learners when their cars drive for the first time is indescribable.”

Running on almost empty1The Shell Eco-marathon is one of the world’s leading energy-efficiency competition programmes and students from all over the world are challenged to design, build and test energy-efficient vehicles, pushing the boundaries of what is technically possible. Participants will take their designs to the track in the Mileage Challenge to see which vehicle will go the farthest on the least amount of energy.

The Drivers’ World Championship sees winners from the Mileage Challenge matching the efficiency of their vehicles with the skills of their driver to find the most energy-efficient driver. This initiative seeks to inspire young people around the world to develop new approaches and energy-efficient solutions to the future of mobility.

There are two classes in the Shell Eco-marathon. Firstly, there is the Prototype class where participants employ a streamlining approach to the engineering of their vehicle, defying the usual aesthetics and designs of vehicles in order to ensure that the vehicle achieves maximum performance.

The second class is that of the UrbanConcept vehicles that resemble everyday, roadworthy and production-type vehicles.

Of the 20 teams that will participate in this year’s event, 12 are from South Africa and eight from other African countries.


About Shell Eco-marathon

The Shell Eco-marathon has challenged student teams around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient vehicles. For the teams participating in this year’s event, it will create the opportunity for international exposure while competing on international level at an event that creates a platform for worldwide recognition and showcases technological development and innovation at student level. The competition inspires students to become leading engineers of the future and to turn their visions for more sustainable transport into reality. The Shell Eco-Marathon is flanked by the Make the Future Festival, an interactive, entertaining event that encourages young people to think about the energy challenge.


Enquiries: Cornay Keefer. Tel. +27 (0) 33 3867 or email cornayk@uj.ac.za