An all-women team of Qatari students won the first GCC hybrid electric vehicle competition held in Abu Dhabi over the weekend. Showing some serious girl power, Gernas 114 from Qatar University beat 10 other teams to become the 2014 TAQA GCC Hybrid-Electric Challenge champions.
120 students from across the Gulf region competed in the inaugural event sponsored by Taqa, Abu Dhabi’s national energy company.
Each team was given a basic kit, with which they spent five months building a hybrid, one-seater vehicle designed to maximize energy efficiency.
Each car was permitted to use 1.5 kilowatt hours of electrical energy and 3.8 liters of conventional gas.
Once their designs were complete, they met at Al Forsan in Khalifa City to put their engineering might to the test in two separate stages.
In the first stage, the Electric Grand Prix (E-GP), the teams drove their vehicles as far as they could for one hour relying strictly on the energy stores in their batteries.
The following day, on Friday, the teams used both their petrol and electric power to travel as far as possible in three hours in the Hybrid-Electric Grand Prix (HE-GP).
Qatar University’s team proudly completed 101 laps with their one seater.
“We are so proud to be titled as champions of the first ever TAQA GCC Hybrid-Electric Challenge,” said team leader Team leader Chresteen Fareed.
“Taking part in this event has been a great experience and has given us the chance to take what we have learnt in the classroom and apply it to a real life situation. It has been hard work and we have learnt a lot but most importantly we have had fun!”
The first of its kind in the Middle East but certainly not the last, the event is the next in a long string of Gulf initiatives designed to wean the region off its own fossil fuels and promote innovation in renewables and other green developments.
“The energy crisis that is facing all of us is here and world consumption of energy is growing exponentially, so everyone who is concerned about this knows the solution is to find new sources of energy,” Dr Sami Ainane, a professor at the Petroleum Institute and event organizer, told the National.
Although the initiative and its turn out is wonderful in its own right, we can’t help but feel a little extra pride that a group of ladies won the final prize!