Students from Eindhoven University of Technology have developed the first off-road car exclusively powered by solar energy. The research group said the vehicle is road-legal and independent of charging stations.
The “Stella Terra” car has a top speed of 145 km per hour, weighs 1,200 kg, and has a maximum range of 630 km. It collects energy from rooftop PV panels.
“Stella Terra must withstand the harsh conditions of off-roading while remaining efficient and light enough to be powered by the sun,” said Wisse Bos, the team manager of the student group. “That is why we had to design almost everything for Stella Terra ourselves, from the suspension to the inverters for the solar panels.”
The group said the vehicle is “five to 10 years ahead” of the PV-powered vehicles that are currently on the market.
The students are grouped under Solar Team Eindhoven, which has already built other road-only solar cars. The current off-road vehicle has already gone testing in the Netherlands, according to the statement. In October, the vehicle and its team of creators will head to Morocco, where they will test it under different conditions.
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