One of the world’s most technologically innovative car races will come to the UK for the first time in 2016 when it rolls through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park .

The European leg of the Shell Eco-marathon will take place from June 30-July 3, pitting teams of students against each other to see how far their vehicles can travel on a single litre of fuel.

When the competition started 30 years ago, the winning entry would only have made it from London to Rotterdam.

The current record stands at 3,771km – the distance between London and Rome and back again.

Publicity for the event began with a number of vehicles designed by students from University College London displayed on Westminster Bridge.

Speaking to The Engineer, Shell UK chairman Eric Bonino said: “For 30 years, Shell Eco-marathon has helped inspire the world’s brightest young minds to design and build new vehicle technologies.

“It’s inspiring to see these students pushing themselves to their creative, scientific and engineering limits.

“We encourage people to visit this free, unique festival where they can share, interact with and be inspired by current and future energy solutions.”

UCL student Douglas Stridsberg, who will be taking part in the race said: “Finding solutions to meet future energy and mobility demands is at the heart of what we do as mechanical engineers, however not all of us have the chance to apply our knowledge before we begin our careers.

“Shell Eco-marathon gives us a unique opportunity to take the concepts we have studied and put them into practice in the real world.

“For UCL, returning to compete this year was a natural choice as we cherish any chance to create solutions for future generations.”