Shell has unveiled a concept city car.
Independent testing of the three seater shows that Shell’s Concept Car (pictured) would deliver a 34% reduction in energy use over its lifecycle when compared to a typical city car available in the UK.
Shell says the car would use around half the energy required to build and run than a typical small family car available in the UK and 69% less than that of a typical sports utility vehicle available in the UK.
Sample test results include a steady consumption of 107 miles per gallon 45mph and an improvement of 4.67g CO2/km on the new European driving cycle (NEDC) from the use of bespoke lubricants, equivalent to a 5% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to standard lubricants available in the UK.
Mark Gainsborough, executive vice-president of Shell’s global lubricants businesses which backed the project said: “This is a significant automobile engineering milestone.
“Insights gained from this project could be transformational in terms of how we address energy use in the road transport sector.
“Energy use and climate change are major issues for society. This project shows that if we use the best of today’s technology, including cutting edge lubricants science, we could potentially have a major impact on energy use and reduce CO2 emissions.
“The improvement in economy derived from the collaborative design of engine and lubricant is impressive and highlights the enormous benefits achieved from close relationships between design partners. It also shows the powerful role that lubricants can potentially play in helping achieve CO2 reduction targets.”
Shell provided all the fluids for the car, specially ‘designing’ the motor oil to complement and enhance the overall efficiency of the vehicle, principally by minimising friction.
Shell’s lubricants technology team created bespoke engine oil, based on its premium product Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology.
The Shell Concept Car is built around Gordon Murray Design’s patented iStream platform.
It combines cutting-edge lightweight technology – the car weighs just 550kg – and is built using materials that have a low energy and CO2 footprint.
Murray’s experiences in Formula One racing have been used to develop the car, particularly its crashworthiness and lightness.
A number of the car’s components were created using 3D printing to accelerate the construction of this prototype vehicle.
The car also uses recycled carbon fibre for its body that can be assembled for a quarter of the price of a conventional steel car and almost the entire car can be recycled at the end of its life.
The car makes use of a modified version of Shell’s Drive app via a smartphone.
This app provides the driver with real time feedback via an on-screen graphic which emphasizes the fact that fuel consumption is highly dependent on driver’s behaviour.
Dr Andrew Hepher, vice-president, of Shell’s lubricant research team, said: “Our car may be small, but it’s packed with potential.
“We want to accelerate the conversation about how we make road vehicles more energy efficient and less carbon-intensive. In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to sharing our research insights from this project with engine designers, car manufacturers, academics and other experts across the automotive sector.”
Video: Shell's Concept Car