An electric car designed by engineering students from the Government Engineering College Barton Hill, Thiruvananthapuram, has won an award and special mention at the International Energy Efficiency Competition, Shell Eco-Marathon (SEM) 2022 held at the Pertamina Mandalika circuit at Indonesia. The team was mentored by Acsia Technologies.

The award is titled International Award for Safety from Dupont, while the special mention is the International Award for Technical Innovation.

R. Bindu, Kerala Higher Education Minister, supported the team in accessing grants and other government schemes.

Pravega, the team of 19 students from the mechanical stream of the college, went through multiple stages of interviews and tests, before their entry, Vandy, won the award

“It’s truly an accomplishment for us. This project offered us a unique opportunity to utilise and widen our engineering skills to create something that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. Our gratitude goes out to everyone who supported us, especially Acsia Technologies for their invaluable mentorship,” said Kalyani S. Kumar, Team Leader, Pravega, which was one of the five teams from India that qualified for the event.

It took the team almost 10 months to complete the prototype electric car. Vandy weighs almost 80 kg, with a top speed of 27 kmph.

 “It is very exciting to see our students winning two major achievements at a global competition. As a mentor, we are proud to have guided the students in creating an electric vehicle that embodies this value. Our goal is to continue to mentor our student community, imparting relevant knowledge, increasing their industry readiness, and supporting their growth towards becoming world-class engineers,” said Jijimon Chandran - Founder & CEO - Acsia Technologies.

The vehicle design was based on the bio-mimicry of Tiger Sharks, who are known to eat plastic and other such waste in the sea. The body, in the form of a tiger shark, is made from recycled-biodegradable PLA, 3D printed and assembled in a closely stiffened structure format. The underbody is made from a composite that consists of recycled cloth and glass fibre. 

The electric drivetrain features an innovative battery thermal management system that the team developed using the PCM 1-Tetradecanol, a research paper which has been published in the Journal of Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments by team Prevega. Additional systems include a drowsiness detection system using non-intrusive sensors that use AI to identify if the driver is fit to drive or not.  

The Shell Eco-marathon is an international competition where students design, build, and test cars. The goal is to build cars with high mileage, both in the electric and gasoline categories.

The group members of Team Pravega are Kalyani S Kumar (Team leader) GS Amal Krishnan, Hithin Krishna, Akhil Nishad, Joshwin T Rajan, Pranav Binulal, Prahlad Vivek, Sooraj SJ, A Arjun, Goutham Sai Krishna, Aaron Clarance, Aamy Ceasar, Niyuktha R Krishna, Ananthu A.