Students at the Solar Team Eindhoven have presented Stella Lux, a family car able to generate more energy than it uses. The solar-powered car took more than a year to build by twenty one students coming from five different study fields at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
With ample sun in the Dutch climate, the family car can travel one thousand kilometers and is spacious enough for four people. In the Australian climate, in which the car will participate in a race, it can travel up to 1,100 kilometers.
Solar Team Eindhoven believes in the power of sustainable innovation to redefine the planet’s future. The teams wants to:
“[S]how the world that the value of sustainable energy is tremendous and that the possibilities are immense. We want to inspire other people to create surprising concepts to improve the future.
“Imagine a world where refueling and fossil fuels are no longer needed. Imagine a world driven by solar cars”, the team’s vision states.
The solar energy powered car and team will travel to Australia in October 2015 to take part in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the ultimate race for solar energy cars.
The Eindhoven team and Stella will compete in the family car Cruiser Class category and travel about 3,000 kilometers to defend the World Championship they won in 2013. The Stella will traverse the heart of the Australian dessert all the way from Darwin to Adelaide. The Cruiser Class category prioritizes practicality and car user-friendliness as opposed to speed.
The Stella Lux, as all other Cruiser Class participating cars, will be allowed to recharge their batteries only once during the race. A minimum of 1500 kilometers must be traveled on a fully charged battery and by relying on power generated through its solar panels.
The Eindhoven team won the Championship in 2013 with its first Stella. The Stella Lux is lighter and with fewer seats while still being classified a proper family car.
The team will not stop after the Australian Championship, as there are plans to make a tour in the Netherlands, China and even possibly in the USA, ElectricAutoSport reveals.
“With Stella Lux we want to take the next step in bringing a solar car to the consumer. Therefore we want to show Lux to as many people as possible and we hope to inspire them,” Solar Team Eindhoven’s Team Manager Tom Selten said. We see a future where everybody drives a solar car, where all cars produce energy instead of consuming it.”
Apart from being an energy positive family car, Stella Lux is smart, too. It is equipped with the Solar Navigator, an energy management technology that collects weather data and offers the driver optimal route suggestions.
The car syncs with smartphones and tells consumers how much energy a household will be charged with. The doors are automatically unlocked when Stella Lux detects the authenticated driver smartphone nearby.