Preparations are ramping up already for next spring’s inaugural Shell Eco-marathon Americas in the Motor City.  Efforts include fixing up downtown streets ahead of winter, and thousands of students on two continents planning, building and testing the extreme efficiency cars they’ll bring to the mileage competition.  In all, more than 120 high school and university teams from across the Americas are expected on those newly paved Detroit streets April 9-12, 2015.

For more than 30 years the Shell Eco-marathon series has challenged future engineers and scientists to go ever farther on less energy. But next year marks the first time this signature automotive competition will be held in the US auto industry’s historic home town.

"We're looking forward to bringing the Shell Eco-marathon to Detroit -- in part to highlight the role that young talent and high technology will play in the re-invention of this iconic American city, said Niel Golightly."

Shell Vice President of External Affairs for the Americas

Students are highly motivated. Many hope to one day work in the automotive and energy industries. Their goal is simple: to drive the farthest distance, over a closed downtown course, using the least amount of energy.  Of course, setting a new record in the shadows of storied automotive headquarters, where mobility’s future is being shaped, would be icing on the cake.

Students work hard – often nights, weekends and holidays -- tuning their designs and building their concept cars. Event organizers are working long hours, too. More than a year of preparation has already gone into this move from Houston to Detroit.

The economic and reputation impact of four days’ events attracting visitors and interest from around the world is immense.  Another, more visible, benefit is the improvement to city street surfaces where the students will drive their low-slung, futuristic vehicles. Shell’s $450,000 investment in the streets around Cobo Center, through Campus Martius, and historic Woodward Avenue, will smooth downtown driving for Detroit residents as well. Improved streets also create a safer place for crowds to watch and cheer the teams on.

Local civic and business leaders, including famed racing team owner Roger Penske, embraced and followed the annual competition long before Shell selected Detroit to host it.

"We are excited that Shell chose Detroit to host its 2015 global competition," says Mayor Mike Duggan. "Not only is Shell bringing global attention to our city, it is further showing its commitment to Detroit by  investing in improvements to several of the streets that will be a part of the Eco-Marathon route. We appreciate the benefits Shell's partnership is bringing to Detroit."

Many in the region hope Shell Eco-marathon Americas encourages people to give Detroit another look, and attracts future talent to the US automotive businesses that call it home.

"These students represent the next generation of the world's future scientists and engineers. Being able to showcase the city of Detroit and the future of mobility in Detroit's automotive industry will hopefully inspire these students to consider our city and state as a place to be educated and to live and work. I want to personally thank Shell for bringing this terrific event to Detroit and for helping improve our downtown's infrastructure."

Roger Penske

Detroit invites its citizens to welcome the students in their efficiency competitions and take part in the activities surrounding Shell Eco-marathon Americas. In addition to the mileage challenge street runs, the public is invited to a free, interactive journey into our energy future while visiting Shell Eco-marathon Americas, April 10-12, 2015 at Cobo Center.

Student teams wishing to compete in the 2015 Shell Eco-marathon Americas in Detroit can register at http://www.shell.com/semamericas by December 1, 2014.

To learn more about Shell Eco-marathon Americas visit http://www.shell.com/semamericas

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About Shell Oil Company

Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies in more than 70 countries. We deliver a diverse range of energy solutions and petrochemicals to customers worldwide. These include transporting and trading oil and gas, marketing natural gas, producing and selling fuel for ships and planes, generating electricity and providing energy efficiency advice. 

We also produce and sell petrochemical building blocks to industrial customers globally, and we are investing in making renewable and lower-carbon energy sources competitive for large-scale use. In the U.S., we operate in 50 and employ more than 20,000 people delivering energy in a responsible manner.

About Shell Eco-marathon

Shell Eco-marathon is a global program that challenges high school and college student teams to design, build and test the most energy-efficient vehicles. With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, this innovation competition pushes future scientists and engineers to travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. Visit www.shell.com/ecomarathon/americas to learn more about this program.

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