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MeccE: whatever the future holds

“MeccE” is one of the student teams of Politecnico di Milano competing in the Shell Eco-Marathon competition. The objective is to create a high-efficiency vehicle able to run a longer distance with lower energy consumption. Designed and produced entirely by the student members of the team, the vehicle, named LETO, competes for the category “urban concept battery-electric” vehicles. Leto was created in 2019 and ranked fourth during his first participation at the Shell Eco Marathon Europe with a performance of 184 km/kWh, differing from the top-three performance only by 2 km/kWh.

The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic forced the teams to stop competing on track for the two following years. Nevertheless, despite all difficulties, the team kept working on the development of their vehicle. During this time, the team intensively carried out tests on the vehicle to improve and optimise the racing strategy. Meanwhile, many components were re-designed, implementing methods for structural optimisation to reduce their mass and maximise their stiffness. The greatest intervention area was on the hub-wheel subsystem: the optimal design of the hub and wheel rim brought to a 30% mass reduction compared to existing components. Extra actions to reduce the weight were taken on the fairing and car doors, leading to a mass reduction of the entire vehicle higher than 10%.

Hoping to get back on track for the 2022 season, the team planned intensive test sessions to assess and provide additional improvements on the racing car. The aim is to win the next European Shell Eco-Maraton competition and qualify for the Driver World Championship competition, where only the best three cars of each of the 3 continental competitions (Shell Eco-Marathon America, Shell Eco-Marathon Asia e Shell Eco-Marathon Europe) can race.

The scientific coordinators of the team are Prof. Gianpiero Mastinu, Prof. Massimiliano Gobbi and the researcher Federico Ballo.