Engineering students at the University of Alberta have recently unveiled the second generation of their Eco-Car for public scrutiny. The zero-emission prototype vehicle, which runs on a hydrogen fuel cell engine has been designed to exemplify the importance of sustainability in vehicle use. Most of the materials used to make the car were sourced locally to showcase the university’s industrial potential to manufacture an environmentally friendly vehicle.
Since the original model surfaced in 2010, the team has made significant changes in the vehicle including numerous facelifts. Moreover, while in the first-generation vehicle the car would safely shut-down on detecting a problem, the second generation comes with more integrated sensor systems that let the drive monitor the data and know more about the systems which are performing below par.
The team’s main pride is their hydrogen fuel cell engine which produces nothing more than water as a by-product that comes out of the tailpipe. Funding has been provided through partnerships with the U of A, the Office of Sustainability and the engineering faculty. Along with this, corporate partnerships with Shell help generate the required funds, which according to the designer fell around the $50,000 mark. The team is hoping that their environmentally friendly car will take them to the podium at this year’s Shell Eco Marathon.