Three varsities build cars for Shell Eco-marathon

Students of three universities have built cars they will use at the Shell Eco-marathon, Africa (SEMA) in South Africa between October 2 and 4.

The students, drawn from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), University of Benin (UNIBEN) and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, are being sponsored by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) Joint Venture.

They are collectively known as Team Nigeria and will join 40 teams from four countries to test the energy efficiency of their cars at the Zwartkops Raceway, near Pretoria.

The competition, which will be hosted by the School of Electrical Engineering, University of Johannesburg, challenges students from all over the world to build and race energy-efficient cars, and rewards those that travel farthest with the least amount of fuel.

In 2014, the SPDC JV provided seed funding for the three universities and sponsored them to the European edition of the competition in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. They also participated in the maiden edition of Shell Eco-Marathon Africa which held in South Africa in 2014, where the UNIBEN team winning the Best Designed Car award. SPDC organised a test drive at the Campus Mini stadium in Lagos in March 2015 to test the readiness of the students.

Mr Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, said the intervention is part of efforts to prepare students to solve problems for the society.

“The sponsorship of the students opens an exciting phase in our long-standing support for education in Nigeria.  In addition to awarding scholarships, building schools and donating science equipment, we’re challenging the leaders of tomorrow to begin to think about, and act on the difficult energy choices facing a rapidly increasing world population,” he said.

General Manager, External Relations SPDC, Igo Weli, said he was confident of the students’ chances in the competition.

“The test drive was very successful and watched by cheering parents. The outcome of the event provided the assurance that the Nigerian students will pass the rigorous technical inspection before being allowed to race at Shell Eco-marathon in Europe or Africa. We’re pleased that our support has encouraged other universities to take part in this project designed to drive the efficient use of energy,” he said.

The initiative is one of many that SPDC Joint Venture has in the education sector.

Source: southafrica

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