The Perodua Eco-Challenge (PEC) 2017 – one of Perodua’s long running and main corporate responsibility programmes – has entered its second phase, where teams from 10 institutions of higher learning will start to develop parts and accessories to compete in the final round of PEC 2017 in November.

Launched in December last year, PEC 2017 has student teams from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaya (UM), Politeknik Ungku Omar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTEM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP).

“In this phase, the students will get into a real parts and accessories processing and exercise assisted by mentors. They will plan, build the prototype, test and upgrade till the final design. Through this process, they can try to adapt and adopt what they have learned in class,” said Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh, president and CEO of Perodua.

“All the processes they go through in this competition will help them to be more confident and more prepared to enter a real working environment in the future,” Aminar added.

PEC has always been a platform for engineering undergraduates to create a fuel-efficient machine, pitting their creation against those from other polytechnics and universities. From its introduction in 2009 till 2013, PEC’s focused was on redesigning an existing Perodua model for fuel efficiency. It evolved into building a car with P2 underpinnings, and marketing them, with FC as the main goal. Fuel efficiency was the goal.

After a three-year absence, which Perodua used to go back to the drawing board, PEC is now back but there’s no more racing involved. Students focus on R&D, working closely with Perodua’s R&D team as well as those from the carmaker’s vendors to produce prototype parts and accessories.

The focus is on the upper body design, as that’s Perodua’s remit in new model development. Perodua and its vendors will also advise and educate the students on the importance of proper work culture, procedures and processes.

Once the prototype is completed, the component will be reviewed by a team of judges in November. Marks will be given on a stage-to-stage basis, where the teams will be evaluated based on their progress and team participation. The teams will be vying for cash prizes worth RM83,500. Some of those prizes were given out at today’s mid-point briefing, where teams who excelled in the sketch sub-competition were rewarded.

But the most valuable takeaway for the participants will probably be the invaluable experience gained from PEC. Perodua will also be looking out for talent, so it’s win-win. “Students who excel in the PEC will also provide a talent pool for Perodua as well as our vendors,” Aminar said.