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20/10/2016

NMMU Eco-Car wins Gasoline category in 2016 Shell Eco-Marathon: South Africa! From October 13 - 16, the 3rd Shell Eco-Marathon: South Africa was held at the Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria, and saw participants from the African continent competing across three categories: gasoline, battery electric and hydrogen power to establish the furthest distance a custom-designed vehicle could travel on an effective 1 litre of standard pump-available petrol.

The NMMU Eco-Car, from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, won their gasoline category with a distance of 127.86 km per litre of fuel used, nearly 2.5 times the distance achieved by their nearest competitor, a team from Nigeria.

This distance capability is an event record in the gasoline class for the Shell Eco-Marathon: South Africa so far.

To put it in perspective, it is equivalent to a standard car with a 70 litre tank achieving 8950.2 km before another refill (ie. Johannesburg to Amsterdam or Bangkok [in a straight line] before a refill), which is a remarkable achievement for a locally-designed and manufactured vehicle.

This makes the NMMU Eco-Car the most fuel efficient petrol-engined vehicle on the African continent and probably in the southern hemisphere, as there are no SEM events anywhere else in the southern hemisphere as yet.

The focus of the NMMU Eco-Car Project iro engineering design is efficiency, fuel-saving and light-weighting, which are three of the prime focus areas worldwide in engineering employed by leading OEMs, SMEs and service entities.

The Project, which functions under the Advanced Mechatronics Training Centre (AMTC) on the NMMU's North Campus, has aimed to entrench these design philosophies into our student team members, who are destined to become our future captains and drivers of industry.

Current and past student team members have come from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechatronic Engineering and Logistics disciplines, which makes the project a truly cross-disciplinary effort.

The team has also been very active in marketing and public relations activities for the NMMU amongst local industry, schools, the community, the public as well as with visiting dignitaries from various countries.

The team also debuted its very own custom-designed online app at the 2016 SEM:South Africa event, which was met with great excitement by the organisers and public alike, and is an interactive app detailing the Project and the event. This app will shortly go live online and will be accessible to all interested parties who need further information about the team, the event and the design processes needed to create the most fuel efficient vehicle on the continent.

Contact information
Mr Clive Hands
Lecturer
Tel: 27 41 504 3375
Clive.Hands@nmmu.ac.za