STE / Rien Boonstoppel

Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) built a self-sufficient house on wheels in one and a half years and travelled to the Spanish south coast in four weeks. The vehicle attracted enormous interest, so the students of the Technical University Eindhoven, TU/e in a press release. We drove with the team from Zaragoza to Madrid. In twelve-hour shifts, a sense of belonging and mission of sustainability. “I’m expecting a call from Elon Musk soon”.

It’s a sunny Wednesday morning when a striking form escorted by a police car drives into one of Europe’s largest squares. On the Plaza del Pilar in Zaragoza, Spain, passers-by slow down when the teardrop-shaped vehicle with solar panels comes into view. Bystanders point, tap each other or reach into their pockets for their mobile phones to capture the scene. Soon a circle of interested people forms around the four-wheeler. Young children look on in amazement.

Also read the other IO-articles we wrote about the solar team.

This no longer surprises the students of Solar Team Eindhoven (STE). Everywhere the Stella Vita goes, she’s the main attraction. Not in the least because of the futuristic appearance that makes it seem as if the vehicle has come straight from the future. The British Daily Mail even compared Stella Vita to the flying car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from the classic 1968 film of the same name.

World champions

The team is pleased with the great interest from media and public. Exactly what Solar Team Eindhoven was hoping for when they sat down together one and a half years ago to come up with a new concept. The student team had just become world champions for the fourth time with their solar-powered family car during the World Solar Challenge in Australia and therefore wanted to take a different route. Revenberg: “It was time for something different.”

Ideas for a motorhome were quickly tossed around the table, but STE wanted more. After one and a half months the students decided to build a self-sustaining house on wheels that provides enough electricity to drive, cook, shower and watch television thanks to foldable solar panels. Thus SHOW (Self-sustaining House on Wheels) was born as a concept. The vehicle was given the name Stella Vita. The media quickly followed with their description as the ‘greenest motorhome in the world‘.

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