Students unveil self-built car to compete in eco-marathon

KARACHI: Team Envision representing PNEC-NUST unveiled their self-built energy-efficient urban concept car, the Mile-X, at a busy shopping mall here on Sunday. The vehicle is one of the several built by students of seven different universities from across Pakistan for competition in the upcoming Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2019.

The Shell Eco-Marathon is an annual energy competition hosted by Shell in which student teams from all over the world design, build and drive energy-efficient vehicles. This year nine teams from seven universities will be representing Pakistan in the Asian event, which will be featuring 100 student teams from 21 countries from across Asia and the Middle East. The teams will test their self-built cars in two categories — Urban Concept and Prototype — for which they have made different cars, to see which can go the farthest using the least amount of energy.

Nine teams from seven universities to represent Pakistan in the Asian event

Besides building the cars, the students also have to come up with the funding for their ventures. This includes money to ship the cars to Malaysia, where the event will be held this year, and provide for their own travel and stay.

Team Envision’s marketing team head Taha Huda, a fourth year student, said that to come up with the necessary funding his team started their campaign last year soon after the previous Shell Eco-Marathon. “It is a challenge because many of the companies or people whom we approach send us back with just their blessings,” he said and laughed.

“But we are not just looking to sponsors for money. We also welcome their services. For instance, there was BG Engineering which helped us build our chassis. Similarly, there is the Karsaz Education and Welfare Organisation that is sponsoring our travel,” he added.

Ukasha Kharbey, Team Envision’s communication head said that last year their urban concept car was the runner-up for the technical innovation award. Meanwhile, the team have already shipped off their prototype car, which they named Gallant to Malaysia. The other team from Karachi taking part in the competition is the Team DSU Shell Eco-Marathon, representing the DHA Suffa University.

Habib Haider, external relations manager at shell Pakistan, said that student teams from Pakistan have been actively participating in Shell Eco-Marathon Asia since 2010, adding that his company was proud to be a part of the journey of young minds of Pakistan to bring home ideas in saving energy that will help the nation.

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