Shell Eco-Marathon

The Shell Eco-marathon challenges high school and college student teams from around the world to design, build and test energy efficient vehicles.

With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, the winners are the teams that go the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. Shell Eco-marathon Asia -2015 will take place in February in Manila, Philippines.

The students build extremely light vehicles and tune their engines and other systems to minimise the losses and achieve maximum efficiency and fuel economy.After a year of designing, building and testing their vehicles, teams have just days to prove how far they can travel on the equivalent of one litre of fuel. In cars designed purely for energy efficiency or with consideration for the practical needs of everyday drivers, competitors roll round one of three circuits in search of victory.

At three locations around the world, teams take up the challenge to drive the furthest on the least energy. In 2014 the international events took place on the urban streets: in Houston, Texas, USA, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Manila, Philippines.

The competition is split into two classes. The Prototype class focuses on maximum efficiency, while passenger comfort takes a back seat. The UrbanConcept class encourages more practical designs. Cars enter one of seven categories to run on conventional petrol and diesel, biofuels, fuel made from natural gas (GTL), hydrogen, solar or electricity.

Over several days, teams make as many attempts as possible to travel the furthest on the equivalent of one litre of fuel. Cars drive a fixed number of laps around the circuit at a set speed. Organisers calculate their energy efficiency and name a winner in each class and for each energy source.

Off-track awards are given for other achievements including safety, teamwork, design, and technical innovation.

The competition inspires the engineers of the future to turn their vision of sustainable mobility into reality, if only for a few days. It also sparks passionate debate about what could one day be possible for cars on the road.

You can get more information at their official website:


The competition dates back to 1939 when Shell Oil Company employees in the USA made a friendly wager over who could travel furthest on the same amount of fuel. Since then it has expanded to two more continents, includes energy types ranging from biofuel to electricity, and sparks passionate debate around the future of energy and mobility.

Click here to watch a video with a brief history of the Shell Eco-marathon - from it's origins in 1939 as a friendly wager between two Shell research scientists, through to it's present day incarnation as a global event.