PENANG, July 11, 2012 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) continued its excellence in the area of research and development in sustainability when it won the Eco Design Award in the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2012 competition held at the Sepang International Circuit recently.
The electric car, designed by a group of students from the School of Mechanical Engineering, USM, managed to beat 119 other teams competing in the Eco-Marathon Asia category.
At the same time, USM was placed sixth among the 14 competing teams in the E-Mobility category and the third best in the "Plug-In" Batteries Urban Concept category when it achieved the best result in the 45km/kWh (28m/kWj) during three test races.
According to David Chew, Team Manager of the USM-EVT, USM was chosen as the winner in the creativity category based on the evaluation of the use of recycled materials in the manufacture of environmentally friendly vehicles and low production of carbon dioxide (CO2) throughout the race.
"Having done research since 2010, this year we took the initiative to create a car that is made of strong wood that does not decompose and pollute the environment, while the driver's seat is made of rattan and bamboo which are strong, light and provide good air circulation as in making furniture and baskets," he said.
The final year Mechanical Engineering student then added that the USM-EVT teams also engaged an experienced carpenter to teach the team how to optimise timber so that it is strong and stable in tough use.
"This car can reach a maximum speed of 80 km/h but the speed is limited to 50km/h to comply with international safety regulations."
The USM-EVT managers also expressed their appreciation to the top management of the School of Mechanical Engineering for its efforts and unwavering support throughout the research process until the conclusion of the competition.
Shell Eco-Marathon Asia was held for the third time at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia from 4 to 7 July 2012. Malaysia has the largest participation of 28 teams; followed by Indonesia with 18 teams; Thailand, 12 teams; and India, 11 teams.
Five countries that competed for the first time this year were Lebanon, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and South Korea.