Somabay gears up to inspire the next generation of Egyptian engineers to create tomorrow’s clean tech by hosting the Global Hybrid Electric Challenge.
Somabay is one of Egypt’s best-kept resort secrets; however, it doesn’t look like it’ll stay a secret for very long. Looking to do their part in becoming climate change compliant and energy efficient, Somabay is hosting the exciting Global Hybrid Electric Challenge in Egypt (GHEC-E) on March 10th-12th. Wanting to learn more about this inspiring challenge, we sat down with CEO of Somabay, Ibrahim El Missiri, who enlightens us on this global challenge that is set to inspire young Egyptian students to creatively design a vehicle that will make the masses reconsider the way they travel.
For 25 years, Somabay has been Egypt’s best-kept secret as one of the best destinations for those seeking peace, relaxation, and - most importantly - an escape within Egypt. According to El Missiri, “Somabay was the first development on the Red Sea in all of Egypt. It’s very well established in what we call a GSA market (German-Swiss-Austrian). It’s been there for 25 years; it was just that Somabay never addressed the local market until recently.” Looking to be more inclusive and attractive to the local market, Somabay has begun organising tailored events to attract Egyptians. Expanding their local scope, Somabay is hosting the first Global Hybrid Electric Challenge in Egypt, and this time hopes to attract young talented Egyptian students to showcase their ingenuity and design skills in a challenge that one day may change the way we travel on Earth.
For more than a decade, scientists have warned that climate change is threatening nature and the human way of life; in turn, the socially aware and the environmentally conscious are seeking to do their part by purchasing hybrid or electric vehicles to reduce their own global footprints. “This challenge was set up in Abu Dhabi last year as part of the Future Energy Summit, and was even attended by President Sisi, who was there to present awards to the winners,” exclaims El Missiri. The GHEC-E’s goal is simply to create an educational program that brings together and inspires a younger generation of engineers. Starting out with 10 local universities, Somabay is hoping that this challenge will extend to many students who may otherwise have never dreamt of such opportunities.
The challenge is structured to give all student engineers a level playing field, supplying each university team with the same standard kit, making the focus not on creating a new vehicle from scratch but, rather, creating the best design while efficiently incorporating all the components provided. “It isn’t a race against time as much as it’s a challenge to reach the finish line. There is only a limited amount of power in the battery, so you might not make the finish line. It’s a brain game,” describes an excited El Missiri. Each team will be provided kits that include the chassis, outer shell, canopy, motor, lithium batteries, generators, and so on.
Although they won’t be creating a new mode of travel, the key to the challenge is to design a unique aerodynamic, lightweight, energy efficient, three-wheeled vehicle, capable of carrying a single person farther than their competitors. Awards will be presented to the top three finishers of the hybrid electric vehicle grand prix, as well as the top three overall winners, who will be competing in a variety of categories that include fastest qualifying time, technical innovation, best presentation, sportsmanship, team safety, vehicle graphics design, workmanship, best photo and video, as well as an award that singles out an exceptional female engineer. The competition itself falls under the umbrella of the Global EEE, a non-profit organisation that promotes Education, Energy efficiency, and Environmental consciousness globally.
The GHEC-E perfectly fits into Somabay’s overarching strategy of becoming Egypt’s most environmentally responsible relaxation destination. At the moment, Somabay is testing ways of implementing solar-powered water heaters - in collaboration with a new startup called Solara - to drastically reduce the energy demands of heating their pools. On top of that, most of the transportation within Somabay is via electric powered golf carts, and an initiative is currently underway to eliminate unnecessary waste, exploring the viability of recycling construction materials for future builds. With multiple strategies being deployed to increase efficiency, Somabay has positioned itself as the perfect location to host the GHEC-E. This amazing event not only fits with their strategy but, as an added bonus, is set to inspire a generation of engineers to not only dream big, but more importantly inspire them to invent tomorrow’s clean tech on the road to an environmentally conscious Egypt. So much for a best-kept secret; now everybody will be flocking to Somabay from March 10th onward.
For more information about the Global Hybrid Electric Challenge in Egypt click here.
For more information about Somabay click here.