ABU DHABI, Jan 28 – Over 100 young engineers from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will converge at the Al Forsan International Sports Resort in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Thursday and Friday to compete in the region’s first hybrid-electric car challenge.
Sponsored by TAQA or the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and hosted by the Abu Dhabi-based Petroleum Institute with support from Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, the event is part of a series of international races organized by Global EEE, a US-based non-profit organization, promoting education, energy efficiency and environmental consciousness.
The GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
“The students have been given a fantastic opportunity to develop faster and more energy efficient vehicles and over the next two days we will see who stands out above the rest,” Saif Al Sayari, TAQA’s executive officer and head of energy solutions, was quoted Tuesday as saying.
“TAQA is thrilled to be bringing the first hybrid car challenge to the region. It demonstrates our commitment to supporting young engineers and encouraging the development of alternative energy technologies. The students will have a chance to put some of their engineering skills into practice while having fun at the same time,” he added.
Ismail Tag, acting president and provost at the Petroleum Institute (PI), said that PI would also be fielding two all-female teams and one all-male team “and we are excited about the experience they will gain from interacting with their fellow GCC students.”
The engineering students taking part have been drawn from the Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi University, UAE University, Khalifa University and the Masdar Institute in the UAE, the Nizwa College of Technology in Oman, the College of Technological Studies in Kuwait and Qatar University.
Each team has spent the past five months designing and constructing their single-seater, lightweight hybrid cars to stringent race design and safety rules.
The two-stage competition opens with the Electric Grand Prix (E-GP), with teams trying to drive their vehicles as far as possible in one hour, using only the energy stored in their batteries.
The second day will see the Hybrid-Electric Grand Prix (HE-GP), in which teams will combine petrol and electric power to travel the maximum distance on the least amount of energy in three hours.