IPSIA A. Ferrari Eco-marathon Virgil Whale

Photograph courtesy Team SenzaBenza

Shell Eco-marathon Europe People's Choice Contest

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School: ITI/IPSIA A. Ferrari (Italy)

Team: SenzaBenza

Car Name: Virgil Whale (Battery Electric Prototype category)

What is special about your car? Virgil tells a story which starts from its name, Virgil. Our prototype is a homage to our former vice-headmaster, Virgilia Santandrea, who died of Lou Gehrig's disease some years ago. The story goes on with the building of Pinocchio, an electro-muscular prototype which took part in the World Solar Cycle Challenge in 1996, and with the designing of Giona, which crossed Europe from Montecarlo to Brussels. The story comes to these days with Virgil Whale, our whale-shaped vehicle, the carbon-fibre skin, the aluminium body and the solar soul.

Why is fuel efficiency important to your team? Since we have always been involved in environmental concerns, as well as in saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions, we have designed a vehicle which optimizes all these aspects because the efficiency of our vehicle, taking the dimensions and the weight into account, is really very good: 132 kilometers with 1 kilowatt hour which is the same as 1600 kilometers with a liter of petrol. Moreover the vehicle has been inspired by nature which always suggests aerodynamic and functional shapes in order to save energy in motion as well as sending a message in support of it.

Who or what inspired you on the way to Eco-marathon? The basic idea which has inspired us on the way to Shell Eco-marathon was to experiment with innovative energy and technological solutions.The success of this idea is to be found in teamwork and that was what we have done. We have shared everything even sleeping in tents, working all night, running the race and being classified. Common joy and enthusiasm, coming back to school happy and satisfied. This is the way which has inspired us on the way to the SEM. These efforts are a prize we give to ourselves.

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