The Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) presented the world’s first solar-powered family car. “Stella” is the first “energy-positive car” with room for four people, a trunk, intuitive steering and a range of 600 kilometers (373 miles). This is the car being entered by the student team in the Cruiser class of the World Solar Challenge that starts in Australia in October 2013.
|Stella. Click to enlarge.|
The solar cells of Stella generate more electricity on average than the car uses; surplus electricity could be returned to the power grid, thereby making the car energy-positive.
By combining aerodynamic design with lightweight materials such as carbon and aluminum, Solar Team Eindhoven designed a very fuel-efficient car. Intuitive driving is enabled by a steering wheel that expands or contracts when driving too fast or too slowly. STE will have the car officially certified for road use to prove that this really is a fully-fledged car.
University teams from all over the world will be competing in a 3,000 km long race through the Australian outback. Solar Team Eindhoven is taking part in the Cruiser class in which the emphasis lies on practical and user-friendly solar cars rather than on speed. The solar race takes place from 6 to 13 October 2013.