Students from Nigeria University, who built their own versions of energy-efficient car, have won laurels at the just concluded Shell Eco Marathon in South Africa.
The competition which was hosted by the School of Electrical Engineering from the University of Johannesburg, brought together over 100 young engineers from African universities.
The aim of the initiative is to challenge students from around the world to design, build and test ultra-energy efficient vehicles. The winners are the teams that go the furthest using the least amount of energy.
Team Nigeria got two out of the six awards given at the event. Students from Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun, Delta State won the two awards, making them the team with the highest number of awards.
Their car raised for 52.9 kilometers on little fuel, winning the first position in the prototype vehicle under the gasoline fuel type category. They also won an award for developing the most original anti-theft device to secure their vehicle.
University of Lagos team came fifth in battery electric prototype vehicle category.
According to the Chairman of Shell South Africa, Bonang Mohale, the Shell Eco Marathon initiative seeks to inspire young people around the world to develop new approaches and energy-efficient solutions to the future of mobility.
He said; “We are pleased to work closely with the University of Johannesburg’s School of Electrical Engineering in inspiring the next generation of engineers and in stimulating interest around energy efficiency.
“We believe that educating young people about the importance of energy is critical to achieving energy security, particularly now when the world has an increased demand for energy.”
The 2015 edition featured 20 teams from different Universities and high schools across Africa, who registered for the competition. They were classified under two vehicle categories, prototype and urban concept.
The prototype category is to be powered by battery electric or gasoline (unleaded petrol) while the urban concept cars are powered by gasoline (unleaded petrol) or diesel.
The winning teams designed cars that drive the equivalent of the longest distance using the least amount of energy in their chosen category.