An amazing 6,500 meters above sea level has been reached by the solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) Terren, setting a new altitude record in the field of sustainable mobility. This remarkable achievement, which demonstrated the viability of greener technology in harsh environments, happened on an expedition to the western slope of Ojos del Salado, the highest active volcano on Earth, in Chile.
Developed by Patrik Koller, CEO and developer at Peak Evolution, the Terren is a modified truck based on Aebi Schmidt’s Aebi VT450 Transporter. The electric multi-purpose vehicle boasts a 90-kilowatt-hour battery, providing a range of 124 miles, with the production version capable of accommodating a larger 140-kilowatt-hour battery for extended travel capabilities.
The Terren’s power is harnessed from two Bosch electric motors, delivering a combined 320-horsepower output and a remarkable 70 percent increase in efficiency, all while weighing half as much as its diesel counterpart. Swiss battery specialist EcoVolta contributes to the vehicle’s technological edge, with adjustments in power electronics ensuring high-altitude resilience.
Notably, the Terren features a redundancy system of three parallel battery packs, enhancing durability and ensuring seamless operation even if one pack is damaged. The vehicle’s lightweight, sturdy body comprises thermally insulating composite sandwich panels, a result of collaborative efforts from 3A Composites, SIKA, and Glas Trösch.
The journey of Terren began eight weeks ago when logistics firm Gebrüder Weiss initiated transportation from Switzerland. The solar-powered truck traveled through Rotterdam via sea freight to reach Chile, where it underwent challenging overland transport to reach the Atacama region’s demanding terrain.
The expedition faced rigorous conditions at the world’s highest volcano, testing not only the vehicle’s advanced technology but also the physical and mental resilience of the team. In late November, the Terren achieved a significant milestone by surpassing the 6,000-meter mark for electric vehicles, ultimately reaching the unprecedented altitude of 6,500 meters above sea level.
With the world record secured, the Peak Evolution team is now heading back to Switzerland, leaving behind a trail of innovation, efficiency, and collaboration in the pursuit of sustainable off-road excellence. The Terren’s success marks a significant step forward for alternative drives and their potential applications in demanding transport tasks, such as mining and exploration in challenging terrains.