Three Vietnamese teams will compete in Shell Eco-Marathon (SEM) Asia 2011 to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from July 6-9.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) said that this is the first time Vietnam will take part in SEM Asia.

The teams, namely ICE HUST (the Hanoi University of Science and Technology), BK AUTO 07 (the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology) and Mechanical UTC (the University of Transport and Communications), have successfully passed the technical design qualifying round that took place late last year, it said.

Head of the MoET’s Science, Technology and Environment Department Ta Duc Thinh said that the event was launched in Vietnam’s universities and colleges last year. The race encourages students to study and apply advanced technology in using energy and alternative fuels and aims to educate Vietnamese youths about environment protection.

SEM Asia 2011 draws 109 teams from India, Brunei, on mainland China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Since 1938, the SEM has become an annual race held in Europe, America and Asia for worldwide students. The current global record is being held by French students with 4,896.1km per litre of gasoline and the Asian record by Thai students with 1,521.9km per litre./.