Photograph courtesy Aston University Team
Shell Eco-marathon Europe People's Choice Contest
School: Aston University
Team: Aston University
Car Name: Woody (Hydrogen Urban Concept category)
What is special about your car? Our entry looks to the future of car design and manufacture. Our innovative chassis is lightweight, sustainable and 'flat pack', reducing transport costs. In addition to the CNC cut plywood chassis, our car also boasts a complete set of plywood wheels, and wooden front and rear leaf spring suspension. The bodywork is made from bio resin and plant fibers, which are 100% biodegradable. It is also powered by hydrogen, and so has no harmful emissions in operation.
Why is fuel efficiency important to your team? Fuel efficiency is vitally important to us as we are looking to the future, where traditional fossil fuels will become less abundant and alternative fuels will need to be considered. By using hydrogen, we are showing what can be achieved in production cars of the future. We have designed components of the car to have more than one function, to reduce weight and therefore increase fuel efficiency. We have also designed a free wheel system to enable us to coast for long distances without using fuel.
Who or what inspired you on the way to Eco-marathon? We were inspired by a number of sources in the design and manufacture of our car. We looked to traditional construction techniques with wood, such as boats and planes. We were also inspired by researching the current car industry and looking in areas which we thought we could improve, such as the transportation costs.
The Big Energy Question
What innovation should shape transportation in the future?
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Working Toward Smarter Cities
From better mass transit to a stronger mix of renewable energy, what is the most important thing we can do to make cities smarter when it comes to energy use?
Istanbul, the only city in the world that spans two continents, is a perfect setting for a close look at the energy and sustainability challenges of our increasingly urban planet.