Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2019 Participants: Team Panthera - Interview
We got a chance to catch up with Team Panthera and find out about their plans for the future, challenges they faced and also, of course, their supermileage car - the Iris 3.0.
Team Panthera. (Image: News18.com)
For the past 10 years, Shell has been organising the Asian edition of Shell Eco-marathon. The Shell Eco-marathon brings together over 100 student teams from all across the globe to test which car would go the farthest using the least amount of energy. The Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2019 was held in Malaysia between April 29 and May 2, 2019. The four-day annual event showcases innovative energy ideas.
Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2019 challenged bright students to design and build ultra-energy-efficient cars and then put them to test in the competition. Six student teams from Indian passed a detailed technical inspection before they were allowed onto the track to see how far they could go on the least amount of fuel. One of them was Team Panthera.
Team Panthera is the only Asian official supermileage all women's team from Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women, Kashmere Gate, Delhi. We got a chance to catch up with them and find out about their plans for the future, challenges they faced and also, of course, their supermileage car - the Iris 3.0.
1. What is Team Panthera?
Arhantika - The team was formed in 2016 when a bunch of students decided to do something about the ever decreasing fossil fuels of our country. We build supermileage vehicles, the main is basically to get maximum miles in minimum fuel or charge. The first time the team was formed, we participated in SAE Supermileage which is held in the U.S.A. They came 7th in the vehicle design category and even won the spirit of the event award.
In 2017, the team participated in the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia, which was held in Singapore. They won the perseverance there. We are also the only all-girls team from India which is participating in this competition.
2. Team Panthera's Supermileage Car - Iris 3.0
Arhantika - Iris was the Greek goddess of new beginnings, so this our beginning into building an electric vehicle, also this our beginning into a male-dominated field.
Aditi - So by building Iris, by building a vehicle that helps the environment and also our cause of creating gender equality in the society, it is something that motivated us to build this vehicle.
Shreya - We have used aluminium 6031 for the chassis and carbon fibre for the shell to it is lightweight and strong. So for every kilogram that we add to the car, the fuel consumption increases by 2.3 percent, so the lighter the car, the more efficient it is. That’s what we aim for, a more fuel-efficient car. The current projected mileage that we are aiming for is around 280 kilometres with one charge of the battery.
3. What are Team Panthera's plans for the future?
Arhantika - We are focussing on making a vehicle that is fuel independent, we are focused on making a vehicle which has a lesser impact on the environment.
4. What were the challenges faced by the team?
Arhantika - Because of work, because of the competition, we have to procure stuff from markets.
Shreya - Studying in an all-girls college, we all are equal here but when we go to markets to buy something as simple as a nut and bolt, we are very often discriminated by the shop keepers, they shrug us off, they don’t take us seriously.
Arhantika - Some people are nice, we see both sides of the coin but we have to face sexist remarks like there are some people tell us that - what are you doing? Shouldn’t you be in the kitchen right now?
Aditi - When it comes to cars, we have to go to places that are very shady and, as people like to say, not for girls.
Arhantika - They straight up tell us that. There are some people that entertain us at all. They shoo us away. They practically shoo us away saying ‘they are girls, don’t work for them, just get rid of them.’
Aditi - The sheer fact that girls could come together to build a car without the help of a man or a boy is quite funny and amusing to them. They were very certain that we’d fail, but after sometimes when we shared the pictures, videos, and social media posts with them, they were pleasantly surprised and quite supportive of our initiative, it is then that they realised that women too can go into a field that they want to pursue.
5. A Message for women pursuing their dreams -
Aditi - We would only like to say that don’t let your gender restrict your options, restrict what you want to choose for yourself because the opportunities out there are immense and they are just waiting for you to grab them.
This year, Team Averera from the Indian Institute of Technology- Banaras Hindu University (IIT-BHU), bagged the second position in the battery electric prototype category at the recently concluded Shell Eco-marathon 2019 in Malaysia. Competing with a total of 108 teams participating across Asia, the team stood second in the battery electric prototype category that had 53 participating teams.
Team Averera also won the Vehicle Design (Prototype) Award and a cash prize of $3000 (Rs 2.08 lakh, approx) for their innovative design research and execution, where they captured the challenges faced, and worked on root cause analysis with simulation and arrived at the optimum solution with material selection and design refinement.
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