Traversing the country as efficiently as possible with Team Energy

Inform, Inspire and Connect. These are the three pillars of Team Energy at TU/e which next month will be the central theme of its very first 'Team Energy Week'. The agenda features three events, including the first Hypermile Challenge. Competitors in this challenge will be ten student and business teams that will try to drive through the Netherlands as efficiently as possible in an electric vehicle.

photo Monique van de Ven

For five years now Team Energy, which at present has some thirty-five members, has been trying to inform and inspire students in the area of sustainable energy. The team also wants to put students in touch with professionals within the energy sector, and vice versa. This is done among other things during the regular Energy Cafés - which vice-chairman Jean Ormiston says are accessible, informal evenings where students form groups to get cracking on the various cases presented by different companies.

Such an Energy Café has also been scheduled for the Wednesday in the said first Team Energy Week, from November 19 thru 25, this time in cooperation with energy company Stedin. The next day, Thursday November 22, will see the Inspiration Night for the Energy Challenge: a three-day event organized on earlier occasions by Team Energy, when teams of students take up a challenge in the area of sustainable energy. The program includes lectures and workshops, as well as the eventual pitches presented to the jury.

Festival footprint

During the next edition, from December 13 thru 15, participants in this Energy Challenge will focus on the festival scene. In cooperation with Innofest, which ‘offers’ festivals as living labs for testing innovative ideas and prototypes, students are going to consider concepts intended to keep the carbon footprint of a festival as small as possible.

The winning team will get to elaborate its idea together with Innofest and put it into practice at one of the participating festivals (including Eurosonic Noorderslag, Oerol and Into The Great Wide Open). Prior to the three-day challenge participants do need to submit an idea, “but this does not have to be fully elaborated yet”, Ormiston emphasizes.


Another competitive event, the Hypermile Challenge, will make its debut during the next Team Energy Week. The idea for this was conceived by two team members, who wanted to shed some more light on the role of electric vehicles within the energy transition, says Ormiston. On November 24 ten teams (six student teams and four business teams) will hit the Dutch road in as many electric BMW i3’s, the challenge being to drive as efficiently as possible. “This will allow students to experience in practice how economical such an electric car really is and how you can thus contribute to the energy transition.”

The BMW’s will come from the Eindhoven startup Amber, which has developed a platform for shared cars. All the teams will take off according to identical preconditions and will depart on Saturday morning, after an informative kick-off and a workshop 'driving efficiently’ on the night before. A number of stops have been scheduled on the way for things like a lunch, a lecture or an assignment. The winner gets to call himself ‘The Hypermiler of 2018’.

Registration for the Hypermile Challenge among other things is possible for a few more days, both individually and as a team. The language of communication during all the events is English.
In the new year, on May 22, 2019, the Energy Now conference will be one of the items on the agenda again, whose theme will this time be ‘Smart Energy Distribution’.

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