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QM students battled to become Britain’s greenest driver

Monday 8 July 2013

Two students from QM jumped behind the wheel for a non-stop driving challenge across the length of Britain in a bid to be crowned the nation’s most economical driver.

Teams from 46 universities across England, Scotland and Wales competed in the inaugural 1,701-mile Formula Student Diesel Eco Driving Challenge, which took almost three days to complete.

Third-year QM engineering student Chris Holgate started the Challenge by driving the Ford Fiesta, powered by a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine from the Institution of Mechanical Engineering headquarters in Westminster to QM’s Mile End campus. Ahmed Meza, a first-year aerospace engineering student, then drove the car to City University before the route headed south along the coast and then west towards Swansea. The car then zigzagged across England and Scotland to the final destination of Aberdeen University on 21 June.

Chris Holgate, who is also Chief Engineer for Queen Mary Racing, a student society, said: “As a ‘green’ engineer and a motorsport enthusiast, I was enthralled to be taking part in an event that links speed with sustainable energy.”  

Monitoring equipment designed by Bosch analysed the efficiency of each team’s driving, and there were three awards up for grabs, which cover city, rural and highway driving. Distances between universities ranged from three miles to over 100 miles, but each team was monitored equally.

Peter Fouquet, president of Bosch UK, said: “With the help of Bosch technologies, the vehicle being used for the Formula Student Diesel Eco Driving Challenge achieves low CO2 emissions of just 98g/km. In the near future, Bosch sees the potential across all vehicle models for even greater CO2 emissions reductions – of up to 20 per cent in some cases.”

The students were joined in the vehicle by an AA representative, who helped with the route and economical driving tips. Shell supplied diesel throughout the competition, which was jointly run by Formula Student, Europe's most established educational motorsport competition managed by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and Bosch.

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