22 October 2023, by Emily Proctor
A solar-powered car designed by a team from a Dutch university has become the first electric car in the world to drive 1.000 kilometres without needing to be recharged, during a test drive across Morocco and the Sahara. The car was designed by students from the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Dutch-designed solar power car is ultra-lightweight
The lightweight car, which weighs around 3.200 kilogrammes, is called the Stella Terra, and runs off energy provided by the solar panels. The car has a range of at least 710 kilometres on a sunny day, with a top speed of 145 kilometres per hour.
The team behind the car is headed up by Wisse Bos, who is the manager of Solar Team Eindhoven. Bos told The Independent that the technology used, namely the combination of a lightweight frame and highly efficient solar panels is ahead of anything currently available on the market.
The car completed a test drive across Morocco and the Sahara
The two-seater completed a major test drive across Morocco and the Sahara desert, where the car was able to benefit from the sunny weather in North Africa. “Stella Terra must withstand the harsh conditions of off-roading while remaining efficient and light enough to be powered by the sun. That is why we had to design almost everything for Stella Terra ourselves, from the suspension to the inverters for the solar panels. We are pushing the boundaries of technology,” team manager Wisse Bos told The Independent.
“We hope this can be an inspiration to car manufacturers such as Land Rover and BMW to make it a more sustainable industry. The car was actually very comfortable in the off-road conditions as it is very light and does not get stuck,” the team’s technical manager Bob van Ginkel added.