Ethanol-fueled prototype car wins Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2014

By Erin Voegele | February 11, 2014

An ethanol-fueled vehicle designed by a team of students from Thailand earned the top place at the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2014 event on Feb. 9. Team “How Much Ethanol” from Panjavidhya Technological College Thailand drove 2,730 kilometers (km) on 1 liter of ethanol (6,421 miles per gallon).

“Our winning formula was to focus 97 percent of our efforts on designing the car and 3 percent on the engine. Our car was custom-designed around our designated driver for optimal performance and we built the engine to maximize the capacity of our car,” said Chumphol Sitthios, team manager for Panjavidhya Technological College, in a press release. “We also practiced on a Thailand circuit which has a similar layout to Luneta Park.”

Shell has hosted the annual event since 2010. This was the first year the Shell Eco-marathon Asia took place on the streets of Luneta Park in Manila, Philippines. The event was previously held at the Sepang International Circuit, a motorsport race track located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Shell said the new urban setting is designed to better test the boundaries of fuel efficiency in a real world environment.

According to Shell, 105 student teams from 15 countries across Asia and the Middle East participated in this year’s event. Teams submitted vehicle entries in either the urban concept for prototype category under any of seven different energy types. Results are determined by measuring which team can drive the furthest on the equivalent of 1 kilowatt hour or 1 liter of fuel.

A second team that developed an ethanol-fueled vehicle was also recognized under the prototype category for alternative gasoline fuels. Team “Luk Jao Mae Khlong Prapa” of Thailand’s Dhurakij Pundit University traveled 2,211.3 km per liter. An ethanol-fueled car also placed in the urban concept category. Team “HORAS MESIN” from Indonesia’s University of Sumatera Utara achieved 101.4 km per liter.  A full list of winners is available on the Shell website