The camper van is fully equipped and therefore perfect for a fantastic vacation through Europe. You can drive up to 730 kilometers on a sunny day. With the Stella Vita, as the new vehicle is called, Solar Team Eindhoven (in the Netherlands) is showcasing a whole new form of mobility. In recently years, the team has always worked on a family car powered by solar energy. They won the World Solar Challenge in Australia several years in a row with their passenger solar car. Now they have taken the technology a step further.
“In 2012, the Solar Team started with the goal of making a solar-powered family car that could actually be used in wider society,” Kjell Revenberg, team leader of Solar Team Eindhoven, told Innovation Origins earlier this year. This dream is set to come true in 2021. The start-up company Lightyear, whose founders started out with the Solar Team, is launching its solar car on the market this year. “As the next generation of the Solar Team, we are incredibly proud of that,” Revenberg goes on to say, “That means that as a student team, we have achieved our goal.”
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New form of mobility
Which is why the Solar Team went looking for a new challenge. The team decided to stop participating in the World Solar Challenge and instead focus entirely on a new type of solar vehicle. Stella Vita is larger and more feature-rich than the vehicles the team has made before. This invariably presented new challenges. Materials, of course, must be as light and strong as possible. That turned out to be a challenge. The energy supply is also different. The vehicle generates enough solar energy to drive and also supply power to household appliances.
The students are going to tour Europe with Stella Vita to demonstrate the capabilities of solar energy in mobility. They will drive from Eindhoven to the southernmost tip of Spain. Along the way, the students are planning to drop by universities and partners who have helped the team in recent years. In addition, they will also visit a number of important race tracks and people can marvel at Stella Vita in other public places. Revenberg: “To accelerate this transition, we are going to inspire as many people in Europe as possible about a sustainable future during our trip.”