Oxford University Eco-Marathon
The Shell Eco-Marathon is a yearly competition to find the most energy efficient vehicle. The competition features different categories of fuel including fuel cells, solar panels, gasoline, diesel and LPG. Throughout the challenges, the vehicles must reach an average speed of 15mph. Various challenges are run throughout the year in California, Istanbul, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, London, Johannesburg and Singapore.
Oxford University entered a battery powered vehicle which has a sculpted body shape to help reduce air resistance. Each element of the car’s design is engineered to reduce wasted energy. The tyres have a small cross-section to cut down on rolling resistance. The vehicle has a special clutch and power-train which allow for either free-wheeling or regenerative power under braking. Students from Oxford University worked to test the car honing each area for maximum efficiency.
The Oxford University team worked together with the Energy and Power Group (EPG) of the University of Oxford. Also involved were computer scientists from the Oxford Martin School’s Institute for the Future of Computing. Areas of the vehicle which required development included, in-wheel motors, lightweight carbon fibre chassis and energy storage battery technology.