Poly students' eco-friendly car has bike engine, bicycle wheels
To find the engine they needed, a group of 12 engineering students from Republic Polytechnic bought a motorcycle, removed its engine and connected it with two bicycle wheels to form a car.
They are one of the nine Singaporean teams who have designed energy-efficient cars for the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2017 competition, held in Singapore for the first time. More than 120 student teams from 20 countries are participating.
In its eighth year in Asia, the competition requires students to design and build a car that can travel the furthest with the least amount of energy.
Held at the Changi Exhibition Centre, the competition is part of Shell Make the Future Singapore, a festival that features ideas for energy efficiency. The festival runs from today till March 19.
The RP team was handpicked by their Diploma in Engineering Systems and Management lecturer, Mr Loh Tick Boon, last June.
Team manager Chai Jie Shen, 20, said: "We changed the design of the car countless times. If we couldn't complete it in time, we would be disqualified."
Their three-wheeler car, the RP Endeavor 1, is made of lightweight materials and boasts a streamlined shape to reduce air resistance so less energy will be needed to move the car.
The team decided to use a motorcycle engine because it took time for car parts to be shipped from overseas.
But then they could not figure out how to connect the various parts to get the car moving.
The team completed the car in two months.
Miss Justica Tan, 19, who will drive the car at the competition to test its energy efficiency, said: "Being the pioneer batch, we want to bring honour to the school so our juniors will be encouraged to join as well." Mr Loh said: "Being able to put the car at the starting line is already satisfying. Winning is just a bonus. I just wanted my students to have the experience of making the car."
Shell Eco-marathon's general manager, Mr Norman Koch, said: "Singapore is a dynamic hotbed of innovation, so it's only natural for the Shell Eco-marathon legacy to continue here.
"It is the perfect location to launch the first Shell Make the Future Festival in Asia, where we feature bright energy ideas and solutions."
Singapore's first 3D printed car returns to Eco-marathon
Singapore's first 3D-printed solar electric car, the Nanyang Venture 8 (NV8), will be at the Shell Eco-marathon Asia again.
Two teams from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will take the NV8 and the Nanyang Venture IX (NV9), which has unique tilting capabilities that allow it to take sharp corners easily, to the competition.
Both cars bagged six awards at last year's Eco-marathon but they return with improvements this year.
The NV9 team had to go back to the drawing board over 20 times before perfecting it.
Mr Ong Yun Liang, 25, who worked on the NV9, said: "It was a tedious process, but it was part of the learning."
The NTU teams are gunning for the top positions, and they are also aiming for awards in Technical Innovation, Vehicle Design and Safety.
The professor in charge of the projects, Professor Ng Heong Wah, said: "They came in as newbies, but they learnt fast. I'm proud of them."