SEM Asia

About shell eco-marathon

Shell Eco-marathon is one of the world’s leading energy efficiency competition programmes. Students are challenged to design, build and test energy-efficient cars, pushing the boundaries of what is technically possible. Students take their designs to the track in the Mileage Challenge to see which vehicle can compete to go the farthest on the least amount of fuel. The Drivers’ World Championship sees winners from the Mileage Challenge marry the efficiency of their vehicles with the speed and skills of their driver to find the fastest energy-efficient driver.

Lac Hong University Team at SEM 2018

Driving the future of mobility

After a year of preparation, bright young engineers have just a few days to battle it out in urban circuits, driving self-built cars for supreme energy efficiency.


In 2018, the regional Shell Eco-marathon events take place in three different locations around the world:

  • Shell Eco-marathon Asia: March 8-11 in Singapore, SG
  • Shell Eco-marathon Americas: April 19-22 in Sonoma, California, USA
  • Shell Eco-marathon Europe: July 5-8 in London, United Kingdom

How does it work?

Vehicle classes and energy categories

The competition is split into two classes or categories. The Prototype class focuses on maximum efficiency, while passenger comfort takes a back seat. The UrbanConcept class encourages more practical designs. Cars are also divided by energy type:

  • Internal combustion engine fuels include petrol, diesel, liquid fuel made from natural gas and ethanol.
  • In the electric mobility category, vehicles are powered by hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-based batteries.

The mileage competition

Over several days, teams make as many attempts as possible to travel the furthest on the equivalent of one litre of fuel.

Cars drive a fixed number of laps around the circuit at a set speed. Organisers calculate their energy efficiency and name a winner in each class and for each energy source.

Off-track awards recognise other achievements including safety, teamwork and design.

The competition inspires the engineers of the future to turn their vision of sustainable mobility into reality, if only for a few days. It also sparks passionate debate about what could one day be possible for cars on the road.

The Drivers’ World Championship

The Drivers’ World Championship challenges students to combine speed with energy-efficiency in a race to cross the finish line first, without depleting their car of energy. Three regional competitions are held, followed by the Grand Final in Europe. The 3 top teams from each region qualify for the Grand Final, with 9 teams in total vying for the title of the world’s most efficient driver. This year the stakes are high as the winners get to experience exclusive, behind-the-scenes access at Scuderia Ferrari headquarters in Maranello, Italy.

A bit of history

The competition dates back to 1939 when Shell Oil Company employees in the USA made a friendly wager over who could travel furthest on the same amount of fuel. Since then it has expanded to two more continents, includes many energy types and sparks passionate debate around the future of energy and mobility.

Le Phuong Truong



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