Solar cars and other vehicles, though good initiatives, have always been short of urban application. With odd-looking solar panels protruding from the sides and top, small bicycle size wheels and limited speed have forced these renewable energy based cars to remain in commercial infancy. But, the prevalent perception of them has been challenged by these students from Holland as they have made the first truly urban solar-powered car for the family. The car is so efficient that it produces more electricity than it needs!
The team belongs to the Eindhoven University of Technology, and they aim to commercialize it a point in the future. The car can accommodate four persons, and it is slated to compete in the World Solar Challenge in Australia later this year. It took the automotive enthusiasts more than 18 months to complete this project, and many of them had to sacrifice their academic calendars for this purpose.
Contrary to what you may believe, this group is quite experienced in this field. They made their first solar car Stella two years back and presented it at the same forum. Stella was a prequel to this family car as it explained the concepts on which the team wanted to work to achieve a genuine solar-powered family car. Now their dream has turned into reality. The subsequently named it Stella Lux.
The Stella lux 64 square feet of solar panels attached to a battery totalling 15KWh. In a single charge, the car can run for 621 miles without Sun in Holland. In Australian climate that is hotter and sunnier, the car can go for 684 miles at a sufficient top speed of 78 Mph. The body had to be made as light as possible, so most of it is made from carbon fibre, and the total weight of the frame is just 827 lbs. The design is very aerodynamic but doesn’t appear comical to the contemporary eye.
A personal weather navigational system was designed for this car. It can locate the best possible route with the sun shining from a distance, and it will always manoeuvre towards it. Due to the better handling, it is poised to perform admirably in the Australian Cruiser Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. It is a 1,864 miles race from Darwin to Adelaide. Many are hoping that it to win! Would you?