Perodua Eco-Challenge 2010, Engineered for the Next Generation

The day was filled with an air of excitement at the Melaka International Motorsports Circuit, as the Perodua Eco-Challenge entered its race day on 26 June 2010. Not only were supporters from the 12 participating institutions of higher learning present, fellow students from other institutions also turned up in support. These institutions are currently offering automotive engineering courses to their students.

The event was part of a series of social responsibility programs focusing on the environment. Themed as “Engineered for the Next Generation”, the Perodua Eco-Challenge is a major Corporate Responsibility initiative by Perodua, a Daihatsu partner in Malaysia.
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Initiated in 2009, the project has enjoyed great reputation in promoting innovation among the younger generation of Malaysia. A total of 27 institutions, including both public and private institutions of higher learning submitted their proposals this year ? representing a 29% increase in the number of submissions received compared to 2009. Eventually, 12 teams were selected to participate in the race, each competing to improve fuel saving technology for internal combustion engines.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Director General of the Department of Higher Education, Professor Dr.Rujhan Bin Mustafa, extended his gratitude to Perodua for providing a great opportunity to the students. As well as helping to fulfil the Ministry of
Higher Eduction’s mission in developing more engineering human resources in the country.
Perodua Managing Director, En. Aminar Rashid bin Salleh expressed, “It is my hope that the contestants, especially the students, take what they have learned throughout this experience to heart, as the seeds of their ideas will sprout new innovations.”

Perodua donated one Perodua Viva to each of the 12 institutions, costing a total of RM470,000. In addition, RM10,000 was given to each institution as seed money. So far, Perodua has invested more than RM2 million in this program over the past two years. With the seed fund, students were allowed to perform extensive modifications to the engine, interior and body.
However, they were kept within the limitations of retaining the original engine block, cylinder head and transmission. Also, the total weight of the modified ViVA should be a minimum of 650kg. The programme ran over four months, in which Perodua staff visited the participating institutions from time-to-time and communicated with them via e-mail, to provide technical advice and assistance on the activities.

Students are tasked to modify and design a re-engineered vehicle that will travel the longest distance with using one liter of Petronas Primax 95 fuel. Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) were second time champions in the A/T (automatic transmission) category, acheiving a total distance
of 37.2km or 145% over the standard fuel consumption of 15.2km (based on Perodua actual road mode of testing). Universiti Tenaga Nasional’s (UNITEN) ViVA clocked a mileage of 42.7km in the M/T (manual transmission) category, which is 135% over the standard fuel consumption of 18.1km (based on Perodua actual road mode testing). Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) came out on top for the Engineering/Design/Participation category.

During an interview, Mr. Alias Abu Hassan, the General Manager of Perodua said, “Students not only learnt about fuel saving technology, they harnessed their engineering prowess and innovation through this program. They also built up the spirit of team work and increased environmental awareness. This program also helped to nurture and cultivate a future generation of skilled workers in the automotive industry.” Just as with any industry, skilled human resources are precious assets and a significant contributing factor to the country’s long-term growth.

Successfully elevating its reputation and establishing solid corporate social responsibility, Perodua plans to work closely and continuously with the Ministry of Higher Education in Malaysia.

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