Gebrüder Weiss has embarked on a mission to conquer the summit of the world's highest volcano with a PV electric truck. The Switzerland-based transport company's truck is currently en route to Chile via sea freight, and upon arrival, the team will make an ascent to the peak of Ojos del Salado, at 6,893 meters.
The Swiss group, known as the Peak Evolution Team, has engineered a truck equipped with two electric motors and 7.4 kWp of total PV output. The truck is outfitted with standard PV modules sourced from Switzerland-based Megasol, positioned on its roof and as mobile extensions, covering an area of 42 square meters. The vehicle generates 380 horsepower and can also be charged from the grid.
“You can drive as far as you want with solar energy,” a team spokesperson told pv magazine. “The only thing you need is good weather and patience to charge the vehicle. On a sunny day, you can generate about 100 km of range with the solar system.”
The team has partnered with international logistics company Gebrüder Weiss for the mission.
“Due to its limited payload capacity, this solar-powered vehicle cannot yet replace a conventional truck, but it shows a completely new direction in which we will be able to move with alternative drives in the future,” said Frank Haas, head of corporate brand strategy at Gebrüder Weiss.
The project has been under development for four years, with the Swiss group modifying an Aebi Schmidt multi-purpose truck.
“Our vehicle makes it possible to perform even the most demanding transport tasks, whether in mining or when erecting high-altitude solar power plants, in an environmentally compatible and economically efficient manner,” said Patrik Koller, head of finance and co-developer of the Peak Evolution Team.
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