Remember the students from the 22-members Solar Team taking part in the World Solar Challenge that were set to travel on a European tour in September-October with their solar-powered house on wheels, Stella Vita? Well, great news, they just completed the trip in Tarifa, the southernmost end of the Iberian Peninsula, and the journey was full of challenges.
The Solar Team started off their journey from their home base, Eindhoven on 19th September. The team also announced the start of the journey on their website, “We start in the Dutch ‘City of Light’. From our home base, we are going to start the tour with our partners, family, and friends. In addition, we are going to make contacts and share our vision with expats living in Eindhoven.”
The solar car had an official m1 license plate, meaning that it would drive anywhere on the open road. But after the vehicle’s drivetrain malfunctioned, the team decided it would be best not to risk driving on the highway and trailered the RV before stopping at Zolder.
The team’s vehicle dynamics engineers tried to solve the problems of the powertrain by assembling new parts after which they continued on their journey to Brussels, France, and then Spain. It was a smooth ride from Zaragoza through Madrid after which the team started hearing noises coming from the RV and decided to trailer it from Toledo to Cordoba for safety reasons.
The team finally reached their destination of Tarifa after many hurdles and traveling a total of 1242 miles (2000km), 1000km less than the original 3000km planned. Along the way, the team met with different students and climate activists and spread awareness regarding the new and sustainable form of mobility. The team was able to demonstrate how they harvested the Sun’s energy to drive around for a month, without having to charge or stop for fuel.
The team is hopeful that they will start receiving offers from companies soon so they can implement the idea of the solar house on wheels on a commercial scale.