Australian student team to push for change in World Solar Challenge


From pv magazine Australia

A Dutch solar-powered electric car team from Eindhoven University has successfully completed the North African test race with its road-legal solar car, Stella Terra, covering a route from northern Morocco to the Sahara Desert.

The Stella Terra vehicle has a top speed of 145 km per hour, weighs 1,200 kg, and has a range of 710 km when there’s enough sun. The Eindhoven University team said the vehicle achieved an average range of about 550 km, depending on the surface, which included dry riverbeds, forest area, along steep mountain trails and loose desert sand.

The Eindhoven University team was once a regular in Australia’s iconic Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, a biennial 3,000 km expedition from Darwin to Adelaide, and boasts four wins in the Cruiser class. But the team has this year chosen to focus on the development of its solar-powered off-road car.

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Among the teams that will line up in the race this year is the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The team’s Sunswift 7 solar-powered electric car holds the world record for the fastest electric vehicle over 1,000 km on a single charge. The team will be seeking to better that when it lines up in this year’s edition of the race, which starts in Darwin.

The team’s most recent car design, the Sunswift 7, will compete in the Cruiser class, where once the Eindhoven team pushed them in competition. The Sunswift team must complete the three stages across 3,600 km using only the power of the sun.

Image: UNSW/Richard Freeman
Image: Fraunhofer ISE

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