Houston, TX (January 8, 2015) – In less than 100 days, more than a thousand students will hit the streets of downtown Detroit with their ultra-energy efficient cars for Shell Eco-marathon Americas. Nearly 30 students representing 15 teams from across the Americas – Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States – took time out from building their cars to get behind-the-scenes innovation lab experiences at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA US LLC) and Ford Motor Company, including a tour of the Ford Rouge Factory.

Leaders and engineers at FCA US and Ford visited with the students and showcased new technologies, which could influence how we transport people and goods in the future.

“We look for young people who aspire to careers in the automotive industry,” said Georgette Dulworth, director of talent acquisitions and diversity at FCA US. “When we can work with other organizations, like Shell, who are promoting science, technology, engineering and math fields, we see it as an opportunity to engage the pipeline of our future employees.”

April 2015 marks the first time this signature event will be held in the heart of the US auto industry’s historic birthplace in Detroit. Student teams will drive their low-slung, futuristic vehicles on the city streets around Cobo Center to achieve one goal: to drive the farthest distance, using the least amount of energy. 

“We learned a lot during the tours with Ford and FCA. It was great to see that we have a lot of the same test facilities on our campus as does Ford and FCA - just on a much smaller scale,” said Seth Anderson, a student at Louisiana Tech University. “Now we can take some of their same simulations and test our cars to see how we can best optimize them for an urban setting.”

Programs like Shell Eco-marathon Americas provide tangible hands-on, project-based learning examples of innovation, passion and teamwork in action and help inspire ways to use less energy and promote efficiency and sustainability.

“It’s great to see a group of young people who are spending their time to solve a considerable challenge as a team,” said Craig C. Stephens, chief engineer for controls engineering research and advanced engineering at Ford Motor Company. “It’s exciting to look at the wide variety of vehicles and ideas that they come up with. It shows that ingenuity and innovation are alive and well today.”

Last year, Shell and The Henry Ford announced a multi-year “Partnership in Innovation” based on a shared vision: to inspire future innovators who will tackle critical challenges like the future of energy and sustainable mobility. 

“At Shell, our aim is to help meet the world’s growing energy needs in a responsible way. We are taking action today through programs like Shell Eco-marathon to help prepare future engineers for tomorrow’s energy and environmental challenges,” said Niel Golightly, Shell vice president external affairs for the Americas. “We value the collaboration that’s needed to help uncover innovative solutions that could have a positive impact on our use of energy in the future.” 

The public is invited to witness these feats of innovation and to also go on a free, interactive journey for all ages into the world’s energy future while visiting Shell Eco-marathon Americas, April 10-12, 2015, inside Cobo Center.

Free tickets for Shell Eco-marathon Americas are available at www.shelleomarathon.us. For more information about all 2015 events across the globe, including additional details on vehicle class requirements, official rules and details on prizes, please visit the Shell Eco-marathon website at www.shell.com/ecomarathon.

Note to Editors:

About Shell Oil Company

Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 93,000 employees in more than 90 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 states 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. Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2015 will take place April 9th-12th on the streets of Downtown Detroit and will be open to the public. Visit www.shellecomarathon.us to learn more about this weekend of free programs for all ages.

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