Shell Eco-marathon is an innovative competition that challenges students to make their own ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. Teams design and build their car and test it on the track to see who can travel the farthest using the least amount of energy.

Shell Eco-marathon inspires thousands of engineering students to push the boundaries of what’s possible for energy efficiency.

Make the Future Live will once again host Shell Eco-marathon Europe in 2018, with two key competitions. For the Shell Eco-marathon Mileage Challenge, drivers compete to complete a valid track run using the least amount of energy. The UrbanConcept winners of the Mileage Challenge then compete in the Drivers’ World Championship, where drivers race to be the first to cross the finish line, while managing their allotted amount of energy.

How it works

There are several ways teams compete in the Shell Eco-marathon. Prizes are awarded separately for each vehicle class and energy category. 

Vehicle classes

Teams line up on the track for a group photo on day one of the Shell Eco-marathon Challenge Asia at Sapang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Students from Asia and the Middle East have come together to compete in the four-day event. (Rener Tan/AP Images for Shell)
A multitude of vehicles line up on the track for a group photo

UrbanConcept: vehicles that resemble familiar road cars (4 wheels)

Prototype: ultra-efficient, lightweight vehicles (generally 3 wheels)

Energy categories

a hydrogen Prototype vehicle competing for Team H2A from the Netherlands behind the scenes during day three of Shell Make the Future Live
  • Internal Combustion Engine (gasoline, diesel, ethanol)
  • Battery-Electric
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Teams work on their car in the paddock during day one of Shell Make the Future Live, Thursday May 25, 2017 in London. (Ed Robinson/Shell)

Technical Inspection

Building an energy-efficient vehicle is only half the journey. Teams must also complete several design phases, and before gaining access to the track they must pass Technical Inspection. Here, the Shell Eco-marathon Tech Team probes critical aspects of each vehicle while inspecting safety features and adherence to the Shell Eco-marathon Official Rules. 

For teams who have designed and built their vehicles as part of their studies, this can mean pass or fail for their University courses. The stakes could not be higher. After a year of design, development and building, this is the final test before the competition begins – and everyone is watching the results.

Spectators can watch Technical Inspection from a viewing gallery to see how each vehicle fares.

Experience the excitement yourself at Make the Future Live.

Green Team Twente from the Netherlands were announced first place winners of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell UrbanConcept category during day three of Shell Make the Future Live on Saturday, May 27, 2017 in London. (Bob Martin/Shell)

Competition time

There are two competitions within Shell Eco-marathon.

Shell Eco-marathon Mileage Challenge

Teams compete with student-built vehicles to see who can complete a valid track run using the least amount of energy. There are two vehicle classes: Prototype and UrbanConcept. Each vehicle class has designated time slots to compete on the track.

Shell Eco-marathon Drivers’ World Championship

The most energy-efficient UrbanConcept vehicles return to the track for a race. This time, each vehicle is given an allotted amount of energy and must be the first car to cross the finish line, without running out of energy!

The tension runs high, as the winner will claim the title of Most Efficient Driver. The winning team will also receive an invitation for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Maranello, the home of Ferrari.

Follow Shell Eco-marathon globally on Twitter - @Shell_Ecomarathon

Follow Shell Eco-marathon globally

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