28th January, Karachi: The Shell Eco-marathon, a fuel efficiency challenge encouraging technology and innovation among today’s youth, is a global competition arranged by Shell International to encourage young students to solve the energy challenges of the future. Shell Pakistan announced today that Shell International would be holding the annual Shell Eco-marathon Europe in Germany in May 2009, and that a total of four student teams would be participating from Pakistani colleges in this Global Competition for the very first time.

The Shell Eco-marathon challenges student teams to design and build energy efficient vehicles that travel the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel. Shell International has been running the Shell Eco-marathon in Europe for nearly 25 years, where the event has grown to include more than 200 teams, thousands of spectators and widespread media attention. Open to high schools, colleges, universities and technical institutes across the globe, the programme challenges student teams to put their innovations to the test in two vehicle categories: “Prototype,” or futuristic, streamlined vehicles and “Urban Concept,” focused on more “roadworthy” fuel-efficient vehicles. For both categories, teams can use either conventional or alternative fuels to see which vehicle goes the furthest distance for just a litre of fuel.

The Shell Eco-Marathon 2009 will stretch over three (3) days and be held at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz track in Germany. Of immense interest to every Pakistani is the fact that there will be 4 Pakistani teams of young engineers competing in the Shell Ecomarathon 2009 for the very first time! Two teams from the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Science and Technology (GIKI), and two teams from the Pakistan Navy College of Engineering (NUST) are participating in the Shell Eco-Marathon to compete against 196 other teams from across the world to see who’s vehicle goes the furthest distance with the least amount of fuel.

Commented Mr. Zaiviji Ismail, Country Chairman Shell Pakistan; “We are delighted to announce that four Pakistani teams are participating in this years’ Shell Eco Marathon, for the very first time since the Shell Eco Marathon’s inception 25 years ago. This is a global event, and we believe Pakistani students are ready to take on this challenge alongside the student teams in Europe and the Americas. There is tremendous capability and talent in our country and by facilitating the participation of these 4 teams in 2009, we hope to enable more Pakistani student teams to participate in the inaugural Shell Eco-marathon Asia in Malaysia in July 2010. The Shell Eco-Marathon serves as an excellent platform for our 4 teams to showcase their creativity in meeting the energy challenge. This is the best form of education – helping students gain practical experience for the future.”

Besides the prestige of winning the title of the most fuel-efficient vehicle in their respective categories and the chance to win attractive cash prizes for their schools, these teams have the unique opportunity of representing their country on a global forum, and to stand as the pioneering teams from Pakistan for this excellent global initiative.