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In the category of prototypes there are hardly any limits for the inventors. However, a maximum height of 1m is set for the vehicles and it may not be longer than 3.5m or wider than 1.3m. The maximum weight in this category is 140kg without driver.

Schluckspecht III

The Schluckspecht III starts in the Prototype Group of the Shell Eco-marathon. There are hardly any limits to the design of the vehicle, which is reflected in its distinctive chassis: The extremely compact vehicle shape allows low vehicle weight and good aerodynamics. Since 2012, the Schluckspecht III has been starting in the battery category of the Shell Eco-marathon.


The calculation and analysis of the aerodynamics was performed with ANSYS CFX. The measurements of the required data were carried out using a las­er Doppler anemometer on a model of the Schluckspecht III in the wind tunnel of the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg.

Design Self-supporting CFRP chassis
Dimensions 2930 x 890 x 540 mm
Weight 50 kg
cw-Value Chassis 0,12
cw-Value Front Wheels 0,22
cw-Value Front Suspension 0,45
cw-Value Total Vehicle 0,17
Applied Area [A] 0,237 m²
Power loss at 30 km/h [Pv] 14 W


The self-developed wheel hub motor in the rear wheel is – without a doubt – the most innovative system of the entire project. In this, the entire engine is integrated in the wheel. Thus, this drive eliminates the gearbox, the clutch and all shafts for power transmission. The entire engine including control and electronics is self-developed and manufactured.

Lithium-Ion-Battery (since 2012)

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Number of Poles 36
Number of Phases 3
Weight of active mass 7,66 kg
Maximum Power 2 kW
Maximum Speed About 50 km/h
Efficiency >90% incl. converter electronics
Control CAN-Bus
Electronics Own development; integrated in the wheel
Direct Ethanol Fuel Cell (2007)

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Within 6 months, the students developed and built a direct ethanol fuel cell. In 2007, the team not only successfully participated in the Shell Eco-marathon with a hydrogen fuel cell, but also presented the world’s first vehicle that draws the required energy from a direct ethanol fuel cell. The team received the f-cell Award special prize for this success.

Stack Own development
Control Electronics Own development
Number of cells 58
Weight About 35 kg
Hybrid Concept Capacitor as a buffer
Hydrogen Fuel Cell (2006-2011)

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The energy of a hydrogen fuel cell supplies both the engine of the vehicle and the electronics. The advantage is a high efficiency in the partial load range. However, safety-relevant equipment in the vehicle may also be operated with a battery in accordance with the Shell Eco marathon regulations. To transform the voltage of the fuel cell (48 V) to the electronics voltage (12 V), highly efficient, self-developed switching power supplies are used.

To optimize the efficiency of the purchased fuel cell stacks, all original control electronics have been removed. In the vehicle, the two stacks are now monitored and controlled by specially developed electronics and software.

Stack “Nexa” by Ballard
Control Electronics Own development
Number of cells 47
Maximum Power 1,2 kW
Diesel Engine (2003-2005)

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Design Self-supporting CFRP chassis
Weight 60 kg
Drive Hatz 1B20, diesel
Power 3,1 kW (about 4,2 PS) at 3.000 rpm
Torque 10 Nm at 2400 rpm


8th place battery
4th place battery
4th place battery
9th place battery
5th place battery
2nd place fuel cell
2nd place fuel cell
2nd/200, 1st place fuel cell
3rd/260, 2nd place fuel cell
4th/255, 3rd place fuel cell

1st place Bosch Innovations

11./209, 1st place diesel
22./210, 4th place diesel
17./210, 6th place diesel

1st place safety

2nd place conception


Schluckspecht II (2000-2002)

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The Schluckspecht II was constructed in 2000 and fundamentally reworked the previous model. The new 4.5 hp Lombardini diesel engine gave the car more power and the self-supporting carbon chassis at the same time a much lighter weight of only 68 kg. For a total of 3 years, the second Schluckspecht joined the Shell Eco-marathon in the “Prototype” category, before being replaced by today’s Schluckspecht III in 2003.

Design Self-supporting CFRP chassis
Weight 68 kg
Drive Lombardini 15LD225 (225ccm), diesel
Power 3,3 kW (about 4,5 PS) at 3.600 rpm
Torque 10 Nm at 2400 rpm


1029 km/l
27./115 Teams
958 km/l
28./140 Teams
703 km/l
47./140 Teams

Schluckspecht I (1998-1999)

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The Schluckspecht I was the first vehicle of the project, which was developed and constructed by a small team of students of the university in 1998. With a steel frame, 1.5 hp petrol engine and bicycle tires, the first woodpecker is the beginning of the more than 20-year success story of the project. Overall, the vehicle was used for two years in the “Prototype” category at the Shell Eco-marathon.

Design Steel frame with GRP body
Weight 92 kg
Drive Honda GX31 (31ccm), gasoline
Power 1,1 kW (about 1,5 PS) at 7.000 rpm
Torque 11,64 Nm at 4.500 rpm


273 km/l
93./160 Teams