Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
  • Stella EV solar car
Solar power, while streaming free daily from our sun, is notoriously difficult to turn into practical vehicular transportation. Sure, you can cross Australia in a solar car, if you're willing to work hard, but direct solar-powered transportation (i.e., not solar charging à la a Tesla Supercharger or Peder Norby) with passengers remains difficult. But that's just the hurdle that the Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) from the Netherlands is trying to jump.

STE will enter its new Stella solar car in that Australia-crossing World Solar Challenge, in the new Cruiser Class. Unlike many of the ultralightweight vehicles in the Challenge, Stella is designed to seat four people, making it the first solar-powered family car we can think of. The NLV/Koenigsegg Quant concept, for example, another four-seat solar EV, only used its solar panels to power accessories.

That said, Stella can't move totally on the power of the sun, despite its impressive aerodynamic style. STE says the car is covered with "high-yield silicum solar panels that will generate almost half the required energy" needed for the 3,000-kilometer (1,864-mile) Challenge. In the Cruiser Class, teams need to not only be able to transport more than a single rider but also collect as much energy as possible from the sun, since "there are only three opportunities to recharge the relatively small battery, which means the car has to be able to independently drive a minimum of 750 kilometers [466 miles] on electric energy." Stella apparently has a range of 600 kilometers [372 miles], so it'll need the sun to shine to make it home. See the car being unveiled in the video below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Unique design : ) Direct solar wont be a rational design but for inspiring thought I guess it's ok.
      Neil Blanchard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Stella is designed to solve the most important challenge for any car - it can generate more than enough energy that it needs to drive. All designs are compromises, and packing ~900W of solar PV cells and four people, and a large enough battery pack to go ~370 miles - is an impressive achievement. The best pictures I've found of Stella are at this site: http://www.designboom.com/technology/worlds-first-electricity-producing-solar-powered-family-car/ Compare this car to most solar cars in the past - it seats FOUR people - and it shows amazing potential. Last year, we saw a two seat solar car built by Bochum University called SolarWorld GT that was driven around the world under it's own power, and now we have Stella that potentially could do the same with four people. Both cars use two hub motors; one in each front wheels. Hmmm... Someone I know asked why is it that this car was built by 22 students, and not built by car companies - an excellent question, I think? Neil
        Joeviocoe
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Neil Blanchard
        Neil... it wasn't built by car companies... because it is not a "car". Passenger count is NOT the most important metric for defining a car. This vehicle, at best, can compete as a golf cart. It is quite easy for students to add more passenger space, if they don't have to worry about acceleration or top speed, or even safety or comfort.
        GR
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Neil Blanchard
        Yeah, this is great! Obviously it's nowhere near the best looking car, but good looks isn't the primary goal of a solar car. Being able to seat 4 people and drive nearly 400 miles before needing to be charged is really impressive. Kudos to those students.
        Neil Blanchard
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Neil Blanchard
        Weight of Stella is 380 kg, and battery capacity is 15 kWh; according to Jelmer333 on their Youtube channel. That means the it is
        JakeY
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Neil Blanchard
        "Someone I know asked why is it that this car was built by 22 students, and not built by car companies - an excellent question, I think?" Probably because it won't meet any car safety standards. It could work though as a three wheeler or a NEV to get around those safety standards. You also have to consider consumer appeal for a car like this.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I agree with Joeviocoe, Australia World Solar Challenge is a fantastic event, and certainly worth the effort in terms of innovating, research and publicity for the potential of Solar energy. However, as Joe rightly points out, the technology is very limited. It's simply not a practical vehicle, nor does it have the potential to ever become a realistic vehicle. It's a vehicle that demonstrates that no matter how ideologically correct a concept may be, reality can't be ignored. But, the Australian World Solar Challenge is enormous fun, and a very valuable method of publicising the potential for solar energy.
      Marcopolo
      • 5 Months Ago
      @ Daryl, It's certainly worth getting out and watching the teams, and these remarkable little vehicles. But, as for bicycles and golf carts, 'merging' with freeway traffic, that's not only unsafe, and very dangerous, but illegal ! Road traffic has to be capable of maintaining a reasonable level of traffic flow consistency, with an acceptable level of safety. The idea that "people may be able to change their expectations ", would require a reorganisation of society, on a scale that even the most idealistic Kevin Rudd supporter wouldn't credit. But that doesn't mean these rallies are worthless. (Apart from anything else, they're a great opportunity to attend some amazing parties) Over the next few years, I hope to acquire some of the best (or most interestingly unusual) examples as future museum pieces, with all the history preserved.
      DarylMc
      • 5 Months Ago
      Hi Marcpolo Yeah I would be a worse prime minister than K Rudd. I don't think you have to force people to moderate their performance expectations but you can certainly "get by" with a lot less than many people make out. My VW work van has a 0-100 of close to 20 seconds. It can easily merge safely and courteously on highways here in Australia. Not to mention the huge number of trucks with even less acceleration that manage to safely merge all day every day. But reasonable acceleration and able to hold the speed limit sure. Hey I read you have a Vectrix. I imagine it might be one of your most fun EV's to zip around on?
      • 5 Months Ago
      read some of the comments below. This car was the only road licensed vehicle in the competition. So it met safety, etc. I hope to have one someday - living in Arizona or anywhere in the southwest you could afford to take a taxi on the 3 too cloudy days a year...........If the millions of people in the SW had access to cars like this - solar panels on roofs - solar plants, etc. Think of how long resources would last for the rest of the country - add solar to them too and gas, coal etc would have to be used on those over cloudy days.
      BraveLil'Toaster
      • 5 Months Ago
      This is just like the argument that the Leaf's 75 mile EPA range is enough for most people. It is, *if it's springtime*. Using the heat or AC will cut your range. Cold weather will cut the battery capacity (temporarily). Hot weather will kill the battery capacity (permanently, although this is a problem only for the Leaf and not every BEV). Pragmatically, we need a little more than that. If we can get 90-100 miles out of a battery in wintertime, *then* we're meeting the needs of pretty much everyone most of the time. Oh, and to be able to meet those needs with the... what was it, 25 horsepower? that is available as sunshine on the roof of your car at noon on a sunny day in summer, well, you're looking at a major redesign of a car that's been refined over a whole century now. You're basically going to need magic to make that happen.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      A car that even Dan F could love.
        BipDBo
        • 5 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        I mean this as a compliment. I think this this is awesome.
      miracles world recor
      • 8 Months Ago
      ¬¬¬¬Dear sir Send new world records & breaking world records http://www.miraclesworldrecords.com/ Email : miraclesworldrecords1@gmail.com Send nominations for awards http://www.miraclesworldrecords.com/Home/Awards Send supporting documents 1. The name of the person attempting the record should be given, along with the date and place. 2. A video (in CD/DVD format) must be submitted. 3. Photographs may be submitted in digital format on CD-ROM or DVD in a good resolution. 4. world records certificates for reference.....
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think EVs should include solar panels but they'll mainly be there to prevent the cars from being bricked and to run some accessories. There is just not enough surface area on a car to collect much energy and it obviously won't work when parked in a garage. Put the PV panels on your roof where you know they'll always get sun and you can face them in the best direction.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Absolutely, Spec. The power to weight ratios of solar panels is laughable anyway. It is so low that Increased rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag can make their output basically a net of 0 extra watts after all things are considered. Only a really oddly shaped hyper aerodynamic car can move under the low power they put out.
        omni007
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Spec
        If you look at available solar radiation at sea level at most latitudes, multiplied by the vast flat area afforded by a car roof, it should be evident that the engineering problem is not one of energy production, but rather energy consumption. If your car consumes so much energy that solar cells aren't enough for everyday use, it was made wrong.
      DarylMc
      • 5 Months Ago
      Hi Joe I can't entirely agree with that. Less than 80mph not good enough? I've driven any type of bicycle, scooter, heavy vehicle you could name and always been able to merge on a highway or in some cases avoid it. It still beats the hell out of walking and I think at the end of the day people may be able to change their expectations. There have been many fantastic developments with electric motors and drives associated with the solar racing. While the vehicles are neither affordable or practical right now I still think it is a good thing. I should make an effort to get out there and see some of these vehicles.
      DarylMc
      • 5 Months Ago
      Hi omni007 Yeah it does force them to reduce drag and weight.
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