Nigeria has recorded a major feat in automotive technology innovation with a car called “Tuke-Tuke’`, produced by students of the University of Benin.
The car has passed international technical evaluation in Rotterdam, Netherlands, a statement said.
The statement was signed by the Media Manager of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), Mr Precious Okolobo on Thursday in Abuja.
It said that the car was now qualified to race at the 2014 Eco Marathon in Netherlands with cars from 25 countries, mostly advanced countries.
It said that the SPDC Joint Venture (JV) was sponsoring University of Benin and University of Lagos to the event in Dutch city of Rotterdam from May 15 to May 18.
The statement said that the marathon would start on Friday with an opening ceremony and the cars would race for the winning price on Saturday, May 17.
According to the statement, the two Nigerian universities are participating in the 2014 edition of Shell Eco-marathon Europe, the first teams from Sub-Saharan to enter the global event.
It said that the car built by students from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) was still undergoing thorough technical evaluation and its results would be announced on Friday.
The company was optimistic that the UNILAG car would also do well, the statement said.
“Shell Eco-marathon challenges student teams from around the world to design, build and test ultra-energy efficient vehicles. The winners are the teams that go the furthest using the least amount of energy.
“The events spark debate about the future of mobility and inspire young engineers to push the boundaries of fuel efficiency.
“All cars are expected to pass a strict technical inspection to check that they are fit for purpose and safe before they are allowed to race,” the statement said.
It said that students from the Ahmadu Bello University, University of Lagos and University of Benin attended Shell Eco-marathon Europe as observers of the 2013 edition on SPDC JV sponsorship.
“Since then, the students from Lagos and Benin have successfully built cars that are being sent to Rotterdam this week in line with the main objective of Shell Eco-marathon.
“The objective was to challenge students from around the world to design, build and race fuel-efficient vehicles,’’ it said.
The statement said that the judges would be looking to reward the cars that would drive farthest with the least amount of fuel.
According to the statement, the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mr Ben Van Beurden, commended Nigerian students for the innovation.
“We have been doing this for over 30 years. It started in France and it has gone all around the world. It is fantastic to see the scale that we have now.
“The energy, the enthusiasm and the innovation that has taken place, and the fact that we have a Nigerian team here participating is an incredibly milestone,” Beurden said.