As the countdown to this year’s World Solar Challenge gets lower and lower, teams from all over the globe begin to show off their master pieces. Every year since 1987 when the first competition took place, groups of young and very enthusiastic people, often belonging to universities and schools, have never failed to amuse and impress with their talent. This year, of course, is no different.
One team, which managed to attract quite an attention with their invention, consists of 21 students from Eindhoven University of Technology. Their car, Stella Lux, is a sleek family-sized vehicle, that not only runs entirely on solar power, but it can also generate extra energy. It has a total of just over 62 square foot solar cells, and carries a 15kWh battery pack. On full charge, it can drive around 620 miles, but that is in Dutch climate. Since the challenge will take place in Australia, in Australian climate, the mileage jumps to 684 miles.
Stella Lux is made of carbon fiber, which makes it extra light (827lbs to be precise). It also has a tunnel right in the center and an extended roof on the sides, both of which contribute to incredible aerodynamics. One of the main extras is the specially designed navigation system that monitors weather conditions and calculates the optimal route accordingly.
As with every new electric vehicle, it can be connected to a smaprtphone with an app for convenience and better synchronization. The Stella Lux also has a very fancy looking touchscreen that is specifically tweaked so that it can be operated while the driver keeps his/her eyes on the road.
The first time we told you about this team was two years ago, when the guys introduced their Stella. The first family-sized solar-powered car– “The Stella” won the title of Cruiser Class of the World Solar Challenge 2013, showing everyone that it is indeed possible to have such a vehicle. I do not doubt even for a second that the success this year will be even greater. After all, Stella Lux is the next generation, new and improved solar family vehicle, which is not only super green, but also sexy-looking and very user-friendly.
Good luck to the team!
Image (c) Solar Team Eindhoven