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The University of Southampton
Clean Carbon

Southampton student team in the Shell-Eco Marathon

Published: 4 July 2016
The Southampton team at the London Olympic Park

A first for the University of Southampton, as a student team competes in this year's Shell Eco-Marathon Competition. 

The Shell-Eco Marathon is not about speed, it is about energy efficiency, and is split into two categories: Prototype Class, focused solely on efficiency; and UrbanConcept Class, where passenger considerations are taken on board. Our team was part of the Europe competition, electing to enter the Prototype Class and go in for the electric mobility category, where vehicles are powered either by hydrogen fuel cells or lithium-based batteries.




A section of the track, pre-race

The event was held at the London Olympic Park during the weekend of 2-3 July 2016 where upwards of 200 student squads, from 29 countries around the world, gathered to see who could navigate the 2.2-km track with the least amount of fuel. The track was a tricky one and the long bridge section proved insurmountable for some of the lower-powered cars. But a spirit of friendly rivalry prevailed as students tweaked their tactics and cars as best they could to gain an advantage.










Our design in the early stages

The Southampton students designed a new battery-electric prototype from scratch and were up against about 50 contestants. The team passed all technical inspection results, a big achievement for the first year at the competition.







final design
Our finished prototype

The team passed all technical inspection results, a big achievement for the first year at the competition.






ready to roll
After inspections we were ready to roll

Once the battery of checks was complete, the team proudly lifted up their vehicle and carried it out - they were ready to roll. Then came an unfortunate setback. They found that they were looking at a breakdown of the electronic system.

A competitor crosses the finish line

Despite their concerted best efforts , they were not able to get the prototype working and so they were unable to post a qualifying lap time. They enjoyed the excitement of the day however and in the end, Spain’s ECO-DIMONI team won the battery-electric category. So on their first outing the team may not have achieved quite the result they hoped for, but nonetheless, they gained a lot of experience and their supervisor, Professor Roberto Lot, said:


"I'm proud to attest that our students worked very hard to build the vehicle and did not give up at any time. The result left all of us hungry to improve for next year and the Team has already identified the ambitious target of 500 km/kWh for 2017, aiming for a top ten ranking."




The 2016 track has been particularly challenging for all teams. We have seen an incredibly high standard of performance, as well as the determination and team spirit of champions

Norman Koch - Global Technical Director, Shell Eco-marathon
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