Students team up to design hydrogen electric hybrid car

Image of a virtual car design

Students from the University of Strathclyde Eco-Vehicle team (USEV) collaborated with their counterparts at the University of Aberdeen to design a futuristic hydrogen electric hybrid car in a 24-hour design sprint.

As they were unable to take part in his year’s Shell Eco-marathon competition, the ten-strong group of students came up with the ‘ProtoSEV’ design - their vision of a car that could be seen on the road in the next 10 years.

The contest usually challenges students to design, build and test ultra-efficient energy efficient cars with teams testing their vehicles on tracks across Europe to find which vehicle can travel furthest on the least amount of fuel or fuel equivalent.

Battery technology

Due to COVID restrictions, this year’s event is virtual, and as the only two Scottish teams in the global competition, the Strathclyde and Aberdeen teams decided to collaborate on a separate project. The Protosev team imparted knowledge on their experience with hydrogen powered vehicles, as this is their category, and the USEV team shared their experience with battery technology.

University of Strathclyde Eco Vehicle (USEV) Team Leader Emma Burnley-Davies, a fourth-year product design engineering student said: “It came about from a conversation between myself, David Rodger, our mentor from Shell and Waqaas Zia, the head of the Aberdeen hydrogen vehicle – ‘Prototau.’ 

“Our brief was to create a design for our vision of the future, and we held three two-hour design sessions led by myself and Waqaas. We decided our assumptions for the design and split into hydrogen, electric and mechanical/design teams.

“We learnt so much from each other and it’s been great to apply our engineering skills and collaborating across disciplines.”

The central concept was to design a hybrid car aiming for a price range and market place similar to that of Tesla.

The final design and key engineering decisions were presented to Norman Koch, General Manager of Shell Eco Marathon, and other members of Shell staff.

David Rodger from Shell who has worked with both teams over the last four years said: “It has been great to see the innovation and the creative efforts of the students - leading to an exciting glimpse into the future of eco-motoring.”