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VUB EcoTeam participates in international Shell Eco-marathon 2013

CAD Model ECO-Team VUB

Efficiency is a key concept in the transport sector. More and more research is being conducted into environmentally friendly transport. The idea behind the VUB EcoTeam is to give engineering students the chance to study concepts and solutions for efficient transport. With the help of external sponsorship the team can apply and test these concepts in the competitive setting of energy efficiency races such as the Shell Eco-marathon.

The VUB EcoTeam is backed this year by the ‘Powered by Umicore’ programme and consists of a diverse team made up exclusively of students. The team is international (students from the international Bruface programme), interdisciplinary (students from electromechanics, civil engineering, chemistry and electronics) and consists of an equal number of men and women.

For this edition, a completely new electric car is being made. The exterior has been aerodynamically improved compared to the last iteration, and has been prepared for the incorporation of solar cells. As for the interior, each component has been critically re-examined, re-calculated and designed.

The team is currently finishing off the moulds and designing all the components. Their first goal is to produce a workable prototype by the end of March. This prototype will be thoroughly tested and the data gathered will then be used to optimise the design. The students will then proceed to the production phase of the final superlight carbon-fibre car.  The outcome will be presented on 7 May at the official launch of the ‘Umicore Eco-car’ on the VUB campus.

The Shell Eco-marathon will take place again this year in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This race is run on a flat street circuit where efficiency is the key factor. In October the students will take part in the Solar Race in Murcia in Spain. This race is run on a race track, where efficiency but also the stability and reliability of the car are put to the test. Two years ago the team came third in their category and fourth in the overall ranking in this race.

The VUB EcoTeam prepares for a challenging race season. You can monitor the progress on its website and its facebook page