In August 2019 the new Eco-Runner Team Delft, consisting of 25 students from the Delft University of Technology, has started working on the Eco-Runner X. By building a hydrogen powered vehicle we aim to contribute to a sustainable future. For years the Eco-Runner participated in the Shell Eco-marathon Prototype class competition where the goal is to cover a certain distance with the least amount of hydrogen. This year, the team has decided to compete in a more challenging competition; the Urban Concept class. This challenge offers us the opportunity to design and build an efficient hydrogen powered vehicle that is closer in appearance to modern city cars: a step closer to a future with sustainable mobility.
Next to the challenge of building an efficient hydrogen powered city car we, from the Eco-Runner Team Delft, also aim to speed up the energy transition. We put a lot of effort in spreading information regarding green hydrogen by giving presentations and going to events. By participating in the Shell Eco-marathon competition with a sustainable vehicle we aim to fulfill our vision:
“Promoting a sustainable future by building the world’s most efficient hydrogen powered city car.”
We at Eco-Runner Team Delft believe that hydrogen (H2) has high potential in replacing fossil fuels in the automotive industry. In the past ten years battery cars claimed the stage leaving hydrogen only as a potential replacement. However, Eco-Runner Team Delft does not only promote hydrogen as a fuel but aims to carry out our broad vision on sustainability and the role of hydrogen in the energy transition.
Hydrogen as a fuel has the advantage that it produces no emissions while inducing energy. The only waste products from the process are water and heat. Furthermore, hydrogen is a very light-weight fuel and can be refueled in about 5 minutes, making it very applicable in the mobility sector. Currently, there are only four hydrogen fuel stations in the Netherlands, but 16 more are planned to be made in the next five years. This will make driving on hydrogen even more obtainable.
Hydrogen can be produced by using renewable energy sources, like solar panels and wind turbines, and an electrolyzer, which breaks water (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) molecules. Electrolyzers are very reliable and produce very pure hydrogen gas.
Since 2005 the Eco-Runner Team Delft has been building extremely efficient vehicles. The second edition of the Eco-Runner in 2006 became hydrogen powered. The Eco-Runner Team Delft competes in the Shell Eco-Marathon (SEM), a competition for science, technology, engineering and math students to design, build and drive an ultra-energy efficient car. This event is hosted globally in three different parts of the world: Asia, America, and Europe.
The competition is divided into three energy categories and two vehicle classes. The three energy categories are: internal combustion engine (gasoline, diesel, ethanol), battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell. The vehicle classes are split up into the prototype class and the urban concept class. In the prototype class, there are no design boundaries and competitors can build an ultra-efficient, aerodynamic, lightweight vehicle that drives on three wheels. The urban concept class resolves around creating the most energy efficient vehicle that has familiar road car features and drives on four wheels. This class focuses on “stop and go” driving and the vehicle will have an appearance closer to that of modern city cars. In both vehicle classes, the vehicle with the lowest hydrogen consumption wins the race.
Up until this year, the Eco-Runner has competed in the Shell Eco-marathon Prototype class driving hydrogen electric. This year however, the Eco-Runner will take on the challenge of competing in the Shell Eco-marathon Urban Concept class, driving on hydrogen.
The SEM Europe is a unique competition bringing together hundreds of innovative students all over Europe for the contest of most energy-efficient vehicle. Winners of this competition have the chance to partake in the SEM Driver’s World Championship, where the winners of the SEM Europe, Americas and Asia compete for the most energy-efficient vehicle in the world! In 2019, the SEM Europe was held on the 2-5th of July on the Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge, Surrey, UK.
- Length of circuit: 1420m
- Number of Laps: 11
- Finish within: 39mins
On the 16th of March, Shell published their decision to cancel the Shell Eco-marathon competition 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which would originally take place in London from June 29 to July 3, 2020. Shell informed us that they are actively considering ways in which they can honor the work the teams have completed over the past year. The cancellation of the Shell Eco-marathon competition, however, does not result in a loss of our team members’ motivation. It rather urges Eco-Runner Team Delft to adjust its set goal. Eco-Runner Team Delft will now explore the option of an alternative competition later this year.
Stay tuned for more updates and our progress on the Eco-Runner X!
Check Our Records
The following recorded times were achievements made in the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe. The hydrogen consumption of the fuel cell is monitored carefully by race officials and then converted to the equivalent of a liter of Shell 95 standard fuel using specific combustion heat of both substances.
|Team Name||Location||Petrol Fuel Consumption (km/L)||Position/rank|
|Ecorunner 1 (2005)||Rockingham, England||557||Top 5|
|Ecorunner H2 (2007)||Nogaro, France||2282||–|
|Ecorunner 3 (2011)||Rotterdam, Netherlands||2914||2nd|
|Ecorunner 4 (2014)||Rotterdam, Netherlands||3524||2nd|
|Ecorunner V (2015)||Rotterdam, Netherlands||3653||1st|
|Ecorunner VI (2016)||London, United Kingdom||1992||3rd|
|Ecorunner VII (2017)||London, United Kingdom||–||DNF|
|Ecorunner 8 (2018)||London, United Kingdom||2028||3rd|
|Ecorunner 9 (2019)||London, United Kingdom||1987||3rd|
|Ecorunner X (2020)||London, United Kingdom||TBA||TBA|