U of A students in top 3 for international Shell competition on carbon emissions innovations

Students from the University of Alberta with their 2020 EcoCar design.
Students from the University of Alberta with their 2020 EcoCar design. Instagram / uofaecocar

A group of Edmonton students who built an EcoCar and other technology surrounding it are up for an international prize, but they need your votes.

The EcoCar is a zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that was designed by a team of undergraduate engineering students at the University of Alberta.

The students who developed the car then launched a series of projects related to the car and carbon emissions and entered all four categories of the Shell Pitch the Future competition.

The team’s project in the “tracking and reducing CO2 emissions” category has made it to the final three globally.

“Our solution basically comprises of a module and then a smart phone app that it pairs with, that tracks with a high degree of accuracy the location, voracity, elevation and other data from the vehicle, and then relays that to that to the smart-phone app to track over time your driving habits,” project manager and chemical engineering student Willow Dew said Sunday.

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“From there, [the app would] give you personalized feedback on how to drive in a more energy efficient manner. And by using less fuel, you’ll be [creating] less CO2 emissions.”

Dew said that there’s about 60 engineering students who designed the car, and then those students split into four groups to launch specific projects for the online Shell competition.

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“Typically, when we don’t have a COVID situation, we build our vehicles and race them in a competition in the states every year, with teams from across North and South America. Unfortunately because of our current situation we’re doing a virtual competition this year.”

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Voting for the winning team is open until Monday, Nov. 23. The team is hoping Edmontonians can help them out.

“There’s both a judging component and voting component,” Dew said. “The voting comprises a pretty significant portion of the points that decide the ultimate winners. So we are looking to our fellow Edmontonians, Canadians, to vote for us.”

The team that wins will receive $1,500, as well as “virtual points” for Shell’s competition leaderboard — but mainly bragging rights.

“We’ve had a great time with it,” Dew said.

She added that the U of A’s entries for all four categories made it past the first round, although this is the only entry that made it to the finals.

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