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Bulgarian Participants at Shell Eco-Marathon Europe 2016 Presented at Sustainability Event

June 07, 2016
Bulgarian Participants at Shell Eco-Marathon Europe 2016 Presented  at Sustainability Event

For the first time three major international companies: HP Enterprise Bulgaria, ING Bank – Sofia and Nestle Bulgaria, are joining Shell Bulgaria to inspire cooperation in sustainable development and smart mobility

The official unveiling of cars built by Bulgarian students for the Shell Eco-marathon 2016 proved to be a celebration of Bulgaria’s engineering talent in Innovations and Sustainable Development. The students, who took part in Shell Eco-marathon Europe last year, too displayed their cars and discussed the technological innovations and changes they made to ensure their entry at the energy efficiency competition in London. They proudly demonstrated their improved cars to the guests at the event. Employees from HP Enterprise, ING Bulgaria and Nestle Bulgaria joined them by setting the scene for a large-scale initiative for sustainable development.

Three Bulgarian teams will be going to the finals of this one-of-a-kind energy efficiency contest held in Europe. Two of them will be competing in the ‘Prototype’ category of battery-powered vehicles: the team from the Angel Kanchev University of Rousse and the team from the N.Y. Vaptsarov Vocational High School of Agriculture, Forestry and Tourism in Chepelare. The third team is from Sofia Technical University and will compete in the ‘Urban Concept’ category with a vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

A number of innovations will mark the participation of the Bulgarian teams in Shell Eco-marathon this year. The students from Rousse will present an improved version of their car: a changed gearbox with polyamide gears. They are also introducing a controller for the electric motor that will increase its energy efficiency as a result of its improved design. The prototype has been made lighter by several kilos while its noise level has been reduced. The steering system is all new, featuring a steering wheel made with a 3D printer, whereas the gears are changed with push-buttons, like the ones on Formula 1 racing cars. This year, the students will try to impress the judges and audiences at the Shell Eco-marathon  in London with the design and appearance of their cars. Thus the engineering team is also aiming to win the Vehicle Design Award.

The team from Sofia Technical University have developed their fourth car project since their first appearance at Shell Eco-marathon Europe and students believe that it will be an even bigger success. This year’s electric car is powered by a brand new hydrogen fuel cell. The future engineers’ winning strategy also relies on an improved suspension, power train and brake system, as well as state-of-the-art electronics.

For the 31st annual Shell Eco-marathon Europe, the young talents from the town of Chepelare in the Rhodope Mountains have improved their vehicle with aluminium alloy chassis, modern electronics and new tyres, aiming to improve fuel efficiency by travelling more miles to the gallon on the track in London. All these innovations contribute to the potential of this futuristic-looking car to cover more than three times greater distance per kilowatt/hour than last year.

At the showcasing, the students said that with each passing year, they are accumulating even more knowledge and experience, coming up with ever innovative and energy-efficient solutions, achieving better results in competitions, and feeling more confident. The Bulgarian talents expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to participate in yet another Shell Eco-marathon, adding that they would not underestimate the forthcoming challenges. Furthermore, they pledged to assert themselves as worthy competitors in the European races and throughout the current edition of the contest. This year the teams are highly motivated to return home with trophies and higher rankings in each category.

The event showcasing the Bulgarian participants in Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2016 also drew an institutional audience in front of Sofia Hilton hotel: officials from four international companies – Shell, HP Enterprise, ING Bulgaria, and Nestle Bulgaria; members of the media. Among the official guests were Prof. Ivan Dimov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science; Mr. Georgi Mihaylov, state expert at the Ministry of Environment and Water; Ms. Maria Donska, Secretary General of the Bulgarian National Commission for UNESCO; H.E. Tom J.M. van Oorschot, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and H.E. Emma Kate Hopkins, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Bulgaria.

In their speeches the Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Prof. Ivan Dimov, and Georgi Mihaylov, a state expert at the Minister of the Environment and Waters, stated their respective institutions’ commitment to vocational training and the engineering professions and voiced their support for students’ aspirations for the development of innovative technological ideas within educational platforms like Shell Eco-marathon. They also expressed their support for the ideas and solutions proposed by the Bulgarian students for reducing CO2 emissions from vehicles and improving air quality in urban environments. The representatives of the two ministries joined the other guests in wishing good luck to the students at the London competition. Ms. Maria Donska, Secretary General of the Bulgarian National Commission for UNESCO, pointed out that in its nature and maturity the Shell Eco-marathon initiative is completely in sync with some of UNESCO’s goals: to mediate mutual familiarity and understanding among people and promote education.

This year, the traditional event presenting the Bulgarian cars in the Shell Eco-marathon went a step further, demonstrating the Bulgarian business community can join forces in its drive to seek ideas and solutions for the Earth’s sustainable future. The event received the official support of HP Enterprise, ING Bank - Sofia and Nestle Bulgaria; these are all companies that, like Shell, champion modern technologies, innovative approaches and know-how, the foundations of their vision of a sustainable future and implementation of good practices. The four major international companies together inspired dialogue on the subject of sustainable development while sending, together with the participants in the Shell Eco-marathon 2016, a symbolic message about the future of the planet by launching bio-degradable balloons above Sofia.

‘The big challenge we are facing is how the world can produce and consume more energy while at the same time reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It takes a mixture of visionary insight and realism, of swift action and long-term planning to meet the challenge. In the coming decades we will all experience a transition towards a low-carbon society, so partnership will be key in the quest for solutions that not one single company can arrive at alone. It is everyone’s responsibility that we work together in order to meet that challenge’, said Ms. Kamelia Slaveikova, Country Chair of Shell Bulgaria.

‘Doing business responsibly does indeed contribute to sustainable economic development, and to the advancement of society. It is essential for us to encourage such policies. This is why we join with pride this year’s presentation of the participating cars in the Shell Eco-marathon, our global partner. Shell, HPE, ING Bank – Sofia and Nestle speak the same language when it comes to the sustainable development of society,’ said Mr. Iravan Hira, General Manager of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Bulgaria.

‘The business community in Bulgaria is becoming increasingly aware that corporate social responsibility and the efforts focused on improving the social environment are inseparable from a company’s business activity. I notice that companies feel the positive impact of corporate social responsibility; they see the results and the way this helps all of society. Today’s initiative inspired by Shell Bulgaria is proof of such positive change in the business sector and its active contribution to the future of the planet by joining together good practices,’ said Mr. Egbert Wurman, CEO of ING Bank - Sofia.

‘To achieve sustainable development we need the joint efforts of all stakeholders and active cooperation between the business sector, institutions and the public. Nestle Bulgaria is a company with a strong focus on the responsible use of natural resources and protection of the environment, which is why we see like-minded people in the entrants in Shell Eco-marathon. A successful collaboration was thus born between the partner companies, one that aims to change for the better the agenda of the Bulgarian public while drawing attention to the future of the planet,’ Mr. Juan Carlos Peralejo, Executive Director of Nestle Bulgaria said.

The participation of Bulgarian school and university students in the Shell Eco-marathon 2016 is taking place under the patronage of the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of the Environment and Waters and with the support of the Bulgarian National Commission for UNESCO.

More than 200 energy-efficient vehicles will be competing in the finals of Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2016. The contest will be hosted for the first time by the United Kingdom and will take place on a specially adapted circuit in the streets around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. The finals of Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2016 are scheduled to take place between 30 June – 3 July together with Make the Future, a new four-day festival designed to encourage and promote original ideas and potential solutions to the energy challenges, facing today’s world.

For more information about the Bulgarian teams participating in the Shell Eco-marathon visit To learn more about the Shell Eco-marathon Europe visit or follow the social channels Facebook and Twitter. For more information about the Make the Future festival visit

About Shell Eco-marathon Europe

The Shell Eco-marathon contest provides a setting for school and university students to test vehicles of their own design and build. The aim of this initiative is to inspire young people to become the scientists and engineers of the future.

The challenge requires an innovative approach to addressing problems, as well as creativity and people skills. This competition is a unique, hands-on experience that provides university and school students with invaluable knowledge and skills in a number of engineering tasks: design, construction and operation of a transport vehicle.

In 2016 for the first time Shell takes the contest to London, closer to the general public, as the teams will have to compete on a specially adapted circuit in the streets of the city.

This year, the Shell Eco-marathon Europe is marking its 31st edition between June 30 and July 3. In parallel with the contest, a host of other events organised in London will aim to engage and inspire the citizens of Europe who care about the future of energy as well as about the technologies that will meet the energy needs of the future.

Shell Eco-marathon is a global initiative featuring annual events in Asia, Europe and the USA. In 2016 the Shell Eco-marathon Asia took place on March 3-6 in Manila, the Philippines, whereas Detroit, Michigan, hosted the Shell Eco-marathon North and South America on April 22-24.

About the Make the Future festival

Make the Future is a festival of innovation which supports original ideas while providing a platform for cooperation and discussion of the global energy challenge. It is a four-day event that will take place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London between June 30 and July 3, 2016. Through virtual reality experiences and practical scientific experiments visitors will get an understanding of what the future of energy will look like: from renewable energy sources to natural gas technologies and low carbon emissions.

About the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park offers visitors beautiful gardens and canals, world-famous sports facilities, as well as incredible views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit. Situated at the heart of East London, the Park will also be offering new homes and workplaces and will grow into a cultural and educational centre.

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