Jump to main content
Press Office and Crossmedia Communications
University News
University News Events

„UrbanSAX“ launches in London

The student initiative “Fortis Saxonia” of the Chemnitz University competes with their newly developed vehicle “UrbanSAX” in the Shell Eco-marathon from May 25 till 28, 2017

It is the biggest competition for sustainable mobility in Europe – the Shell Eco-marathon. 129 teams of colleges and universities from 27 European and African countries, including 15 teams from Germany, four from Austria, and two from Switzerland, will be expected in London from May 25 till 28, 2017. Overall, approx. 3,000 students and pupils participate in the annual competition, which takes place in 2017 for the second time in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. The team “Fortis Saxonia” of the Chemnitz University of Technology will compete, too. This year they start with the completely new developed vehicle “UrbanSAX”. Only the hydrogen fuel-cell system of the prior eco mobile is reused. The most sustainable participants will win the Shell Eco-marathon in 2017 as well. Included into the rating are participants that manage to complete ten rounds of 1,659 meters of the parkour in less than 39 minutes. Afterwards, the fuel consumption is determined and projected on how far the vehicle would have come with a full liter of fuel or its equivalent.

Brisk activity dominates the garage of the “Fortis Saxonia” team on the Chemnitz Sonnenberg in the last days prior to the competition. The competition vehicle has to be assembled, prepared, and packed for the transport to London until May 20. Afterwards the 15 team members start their personal journey, bringing along the “Urban Car Concept” as well as tools and measurement. Prior to the official evaluative runs on May 25, all teams have to overcome several obstacles. Every vehicle has to pass test series for safety and function. “Only afterwards the vehicle is allowed on the winding and mountainous racetrack”, says Philipp Froeschke from the “Fortis Saxonia” team.

Main aim of the Shell Eco-marathon is a low fuel and energy consumption. That is why the participants optimize their competition vehicles especially with regard to lightweight construction, roll and air resistance, as well as propulsion efficiency. For the first time since their founding the Chemnitz team starts with an especially for the competition designed Urban Concept Car. “The vehicles Nios and EcoBee  were prototypes for the application in the future urban traffic area. The main focus of the development was thus on the design and less on the energy efficiency. With this year’s vehicle UrbanSAX we want to be competitive and rank in the Top 5”, explains Nico Keller, spokesman.

The parameters of the new Urban Car Concept are promising. The prototype will have a total weight of less than 130 Kg. In comparison to the former vehicles the chassis is designed significantly more streamlined, avoiding sharp corners and tear-off edges. Furthermore, the total area subject to the flow of the vehicle is approx. 25 % smaller than with the EcoBee. With regard to the drive the 2-kW-fuel-cell system of last year is resorted to. “We were able to optimize the system over the course of the last few years, thus it runs dependable and without malfunctions. However, this time we will hybridize the complete powertrain, meaning that we will integrate another buffer storage. This way, the dynamic of the driving profile is supposed to be better balanced and thus the stability of the driving unit improved”, explains André Bürger of the drive team Fortis Saxonia. “Compared to the previous years we except a significant leap in the field of energy efficiency”, he adds.

Current events, working procedure, and of course the adventure of the Shell Eco-marathon in London can be followed via Facebook ( and the association’s homepage ( ).

Contact: Nico Keller, phone +49 152 2276 9765, email

Matthias Fejes

All "University News" articles

Press Articles