Girl holds drivers helmet on shoulder

Green Team Twente have won the Hydrogen Urban Concept category for the past 3 years in the Shell Eco-marathon Europe Regional competition - the Dutch team keep pushing energy efficient boundaries with their car ‘Aurora 2’.

This year saw them achieve an efficiency of 242.5km/m3 in the Hydrogen category of the competition.

This win meant they qualified for the World Championship – in which the top nine Urban Concept category teams from around the world compete – and won! 

They also secured the Communications Off-Track award.

Here we look Under the Hood, and speak to two of the team’s key members.

Green Team Twente car on track

Green Team Twente team hold winners sign

Team: Green Team Twente

Car Type: Urban Concept 

Energy Category: Hydrogen 

2019 Season accomplishments:

  • 1st Place Hydrogen Urban Concept category, Shell Eco-marathon Europe
  • 1st Place Shell Eco-marathon World Championship
  • Winner of the Communications Off-Track Award

Matthias Haalstra – Team Manager


What is your role on the team?

I’m the team leader. It’s one of the vaguest roles on the team so hard to describe! 

It was one of the first times I’ve ever managed a big group of people which was a challenge. The main thing was to keep everyone going in the same direction, keep working on the car, It’s hard to keep track of everyone's motivation and it’s hard to get on and communicate with everyone. But the job is keeping everyone motivated and thinking about the end goal which is producing the best result.

What was your Shell Eco-marathon highlight?

The highlight was winning the Shell Eco-marathon World Championship (in 2019). Everything came together. You’ve worked so hard for the whole year, you see the car on the track, it’s such a satisfying feeling. I’ve never seen my team so happy, and that felt a bit like my responsibility, so that was the best feeling for me. A whole year, lots of hard hours, it had all worked. 

What did you learn in Shell Eco-marathon?

You cannot be friends with anyone, but you have to work with everyone. You can’t keep everyone happy all the time. This was hard for me but was the biggest learning point.

What do you want to do next?

I’ve started my masters, but Green Team got me to change towards biomedical engineering from medicine. I learnt that I wanted to do something more technical. 

My dream is to develop something new, a medical device of some sort. That’s what I liked about Green Team - it taught me how to build a product. I’d like to design and research a smartwatch or something, get it on the market and sell it. 

All the things I’ve learnt on Green Team, about getting sponsors and getting funds will help me in the future I think.

Who is your hero?

Elon Musk and Bill Gates pop into my mind, but I try to be my own hero, I don’t know if that makes me sound egotistic!

What’s the best thing about Shell Eco-marathon?

It gives you the confidence to do so much that you would not do before. 

The team spirit is so amazing. When you are at the event and go to another paddock and see another team's car, you know exactly how many hours work they have put in so have an immediate link with them. 

What message do you have for anyone thinking about taking part?

Do it, it is such a good opportunity to grow. 

Green Team Twente driver

Yanna Kraakman: Driver 


What was your role on the team?

I’m the driver, and driving strategist. My background is maths, and my role was to apply mathematics to the car, and develop a driving strategy. I applied a mathematical model to the car and the racing track. So I used the GPS coordinates of the track and Google Maps to build a model virtually, then we modelled the car to be able to know when to brake and accelerate, so we knew how to drive when we got to the car

Driving strategy was interesting for me because it’s quite a mathematical topic, and becoming the driver stemmed from there as I was at all the tests and so involved with the driving. 

What was your Shell Eco-marathon highlight?

After we won the Shell Eco-marathon World Championship in 2019 I had a smile on my face for two days, it was amazing. 

What did you learn in Shell Eco-marathon? 

When I think back on the year learning how to apply my knowledge was the real bonus. I was doing a lot of maths theory, but learning how to physically make something was really exciting. You meet people with the same interests as you which gets you motivated. 

I’m now building an electric car in my spare time which I wouldn’t have done previously!

What do you want to do next?

Move into physically applying my maths knowledge. Not just modelling on my computer, but being in the workspace and getting my hands dirty. 

What’s the best thing about Shell Eco-marathon?

I loved the spirit of the competition. Everyone is excited to meet the other teams and is really friendly. The camp site where everyone stayed is really nice and everyone chats and has fun. It’s a great experience. 

What message do you have for anyone thinking about taking part?

It’s a very unique experience, a real team bonding experience. It’s something I would not have wanted to miss. So do it.

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