The adventure with the Stella solar car may get a commercial sequel. Builders of the Stella and Stella Lux, the Solar Team Eindhoven, are considering to bring a solar car to the market. The former TU/e students have recently set up Atlas Technologies BV for this purpose.
Atlas Technologies operates independently from the Stella Project at the TU/e. Recently a new team of students has grouped together to participate in this year’s Solar Challenge with a third Stella. This team has just started a crowfunding for their project. Stella and Stella Lux won the Solar Challenge in 2013 and 2015.
If we want the energy transition to succeed, then solar cars are a vital piece of the puzzle.
According to Lex Hoefsloot, one of the founders of Atlas Technologies and former member of Solar Team Eindhoven, this company has still to decide upon the direction it will take. “We are currently investigating a number of development directions to find out, for example, if we want to focus on components or on the entire car. What is certain is that we believe that solar cars will be indispensable in the 5 to 10 years to come. If we want the energy transition to succeed, then solar cars are a vital piece of the puzzle. A piece that is still missing.”
The reason to give a commercial follow-up to the Stellas, is based on the experiences of the teams until now. Hoefsloot: “In the Netherlands, Stella produces about 40,000 miles per year on energy from the sun. Knowing that virtually no one will need that much mileage, we could make the car heavier or more luxurious. But again, these are all only first thoughts. We still need a few months to really determine our direction.”