20 March 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Students from three Nigerian universities tested self-built cars in Lagos on March 18 in the build-up to the 30th edition of Shell Eco-marathon Europe (SEME) in Rotterdam in May 2015. The students from the University of Lagos, University of Benin and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria built the cars which were transported to Lagos for a historic rehearsal benchmarked against the key SEME rules of fuel efficiency, distance of travel and safety.
“This exercise is more about the technical and safety compliance measured against energy efficiency of the cars,” said Mike Dawodu who led the Technical and Safety Inspection Team of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Ltd.
He added, “The focus on energy efficiency underscores how the future of energy is critical to Shell’s mission globally as we constantly seek alternative energy sources in a sustainable and environment-friendly manner. In doing this, we fuel innovation and local capacity development among youths.”
SPDC and its joint venture partners, NNPC, Total and Agip are sponsoring the participation of the Nigerian students. Guests invited to witness the test drive – staff of NAPIMS, SPDC as well as some parents – cheered on as the students drove the cars around the Campos Mini Stadium. Their determination to win laurels at Rotterdam was evident to all.
Team UNIBEN went on to build an improved version of their first car, TUKUTUKE, which they named ‘’Eco Cruise.’’ This improved car won the ‘’Best Design Car’’ award at a mini eco-marathon in South Africa in October 2014.
The cars which were taken to Rotterdam were also on display at the SPDC exhibition booth during the Nigeria Oil and Gas 2015 conference which held in Abuja on March 19. Dr. Joseph Dawha, the NNPC Group Managing Director was one of visitors to the booth and was impressed by the achievement of the students.
The Managing Director of SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor commented: “Participation in SEME 2015 provides a good opportunity to showcase the achievements of creative young Nigerians and reinforce public thinking on smarter mobility, innovation and the future of energy. We’re very pleased to provide an enduring platform for the Nigerian students to interact with their peers around the world and gain a better understanding on breaking records and pushing boundaries.”