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‘Fantastic outcome’ as Aberdeen Uni scoop Shell electric car award

Behind the scenes during day one of Shell Make the Future Live 2019 at the Brooklands motor racing circuit, Weybridge, Surrey, UK. (Caitlin Mogridge/Shell)
Behind the scenes during day one of Shell Make the Future Live 2019 at the Brooklands motor racing circuit, Weybridge, Surrey, UK. (Caitlin Mogridge/Shell)

Students from Aberdeen University scooped a prestigious electric car award over the weekend, despite being first-time competitors at the Shell Eco-marathon in London.

The team won the best newcomer award for their hydrogen prototype electric vehicle, which was designed and built by students.

The Eco-marathon allows students to test energy-efficient cars, before taking their designs to the track to see which vehicle can go furthest on the least amount of fuel.

The 40-strong PrototAU team, which consists of engineering and business students, have built a car using a fuel cell donated by Ballard, a Canadian company specialising in the development of fuel cell technologies.

The team has also won support from Vattenfall, RS Components, Toyota, Aberdeen City Council, Swagelok Scotland, and Aberdeen-based subsea engineering firm EC-OG.

Alessandro Rigola, team captain of PrototAU, said: “Aberdeen University were delighted to be able to compete for the first time in such an international event.

“The students managed to design a car focusing in particular in designing the fuel cell controller which has won an award for its innovative approach.

“As most of the team members move into the working life we are well prepared to start work again on the car for the upcoming year with a fresh team of students.”

As winners of the category the team will take home £2,500 in prize money to help with the future design of their vehicle.

David Rodger of Shell UK praised the work of both Aberdeen University, describing the win as a “fantastic outcome” for the team.

He added: “A big effort in very warm weather and just great to see the cooperation and friendship between the two teams as they progressed their energy efficient vehicles.”

Strathclyde University’s team finished in 34th place overall in the battery electric prototype category, the best placed UK university.

It was their second competitive year.

Martin Riis, team captain of USEV, said: “USEV have had an incredible and exhilarating week at the 2019 Shell Eco-Marathon.

“The team have left with high spirits and are looking forward to being able to further improve and innovate in the coming year.”

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