In April 2016 Shell revealed a concept city car titled Project M which is set to deliver an impressive 34% reduction in primary energy use over its whole lifecycle as compared to the typical city car. That’s quite impressive, but how have Shell achieved this?
A little inspiration…
Shell’s Project M is a rethink of the Murray T25, the eco-friendly car which was the brain-child of ex-McLaren designer Gordon Murray, and the subject of much industry discussion in 2010 despite never going on sale. This time Shell are already in discussion with several mainstream manufacturers to push the car into production with the help of Gordon Murray.
Small, but packed with potential
The slimmed down, compact design with a body weight of just 550kg will appeal to the City Living generation, with plenty of features which Shell say ‘dial up the fun factor.’ Although smaller than the average 2 seat Smart car, the vehicle fits in 1 driver seat in the middle and 2 passenger seats behind, which also fold down for handy luggage space.
Car with a conscience
It certainly claims to fly the green flag with its recycled carbon-fibre composite body panels and impressive energy-efficiency, using around half the energy required to run a typical family car in the UK, according to Shell. The 600cc petrol engine has been adapted with less friction for greater efficiency and it features a steady consumption rate of 107 miles per gallon.
A winning combination
The process of co-engineering has played a significant role, with the vehicle body, engine design and lubricants all created together to enhance and complement each other.
Shell’s focus on design material selection and streamlining, while enhancing energy efficiency through innovative engine design and lubricant formulation, all add up to something quite special.
We’ll now have to wait and see what the future holds, but Mark Gainsborough, Executive Vice-President of Shell’s global lubricants businesses, is remaining positive, summing up Project M as ‘a significant automobile engineering milestone.’
Lawrence Allan. (2016). Shell Project M concept prototype review.Available: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-reviews/97327/shell-project-m-concept-prototype-review. Last accessed 01/11/2016.
Rob Hull. (2016). Half the weight of a normal motor and 107 miles to the gallon: Oil giant Shell claims Project M concept is the car of the future Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-3555146/Oil. Available: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-3555146/Oil-giant-Shell-claims-Project-M-concept-car-future.html. Last accessed 01/11/2016.
Shell. (2016). Shell Unveils Ultra Energy Efficient Concept Car [Press release]. Retrieved from https://www.projectm.shell.com/assets/Shell%20Concept%20Car%20-%20Press%20Release%20-%20English.pdf
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