A team of mechanical engineering students from the American University of Sharjah  have built the ultimate green machine and are all set to take part in the 2013 Shell Eco-Marathon - if they can find a sponsor to get them to Malaysia.
The students’ Eco-Stallion car, which was mainly made using recycled and reinforced paper, will be the maiden AUS entry at the world-famous Shell challenge.
Eco-Stallion will compete in the diesel category due to be held at the Sepang Ping International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur from July 4 to 7 as one of 150 teams from 16 countries.
The senior mechanical engineering students who built the paper car are certain it is one of the most fuel-efficient diesel vehicles ever built.
Mughees Khan, Badar Ud-Duja, Fouad Khan, Ridwan Murshed, Omar Jadallah and Ahmed Farhat are proud to have unveiled their mean machine, but now face the worry of getting it to the competition.
Mughees Khan said: “As good as it feels to unveil the car, we still have a long way to go. We are still looking for sponsors to help us ship the car safely to Malaysia and back to the UAE.
“We also need return air tickets for our team members to travel to Malaysia and we don’t even have a team uniform yet. So if anyone out there can help us with any of these, we will be grateful.”
The car is designed to go the longest distance using the least amount of fuel and is powered by a 243cc engine that can produce up to 4.8 horsepower using diesel.
Last year’s best attempt in the diesel category reached 363.4km per litre and it was set by Tongji University, China.
The Eco-Stallion team members hope to surpass that. Dr Shivakumar Ranganathan, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at AUS, said: “There are a lot of talented students at American University of Sharjah and a project such as the Eco-Stallion brings the best out of them.”
Shell general manager for the Middle East and South Africa, Xavier Hery, said: “We are very pleased to see AUS’s engineering students’ first fuel-efficient ‘Made in the UAE’ car come to life and look forward to seeing the car on the tracks in Kuala Lumpur in July.”
If they get the sponsorhip, do you think the Sharjah students could win? How important is it to encourage young engineers to be environmentally friendly? Share your comments with us below!