Dutch team reveals 'energy-positive' family car

July 3, 2015, Eindhoven University of Technology
Dutch team reveals 'energy-positive' family car
Credit: Bart van Overbeeke

The Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) student team from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, The Netherlands) today presents its new solar-powered car. Stella Lux is an intelligent, solar-powered family car that generates more power than it uses.

The has a range of at least 1,000 km in the Netherlands, with enough space for four people, and is fitted with a specially designed navigation system. The team will take part with the car in the Cruiser Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia on 18 October 2015.

The car that generates energy

Solar Team Eindhoven has set itself the goal of developing the car of the future. By combining the aerodynamic design with lightweight materials like carbon and aluminium, the Eindhoven student team has once again come up with a very energy-efficient design. Stella Lux can reach a range of 1,000 km on a sunny day in the Netherlands. On balance the car generates more energy than it uses, which makes it energy-positive. Excess energy can be returned to the power grip, helping to deal with societal problems relating to the use of energy.

Family car

This year the student team is once again taking part in the biennial Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. The race for solar-powered cars covers a distance of 3,000 km, and goes right through the heart of the outback from Darwin to Adelaide. The Eindhoven team competes in the Cruiser Class for family cars. Here the emphasis is on building a practical, user-friendly solar‑powered car, rather than on pure speed. The team won the Cruiser Class title in 2013 with its first car, Stella. This year's race places more emphasis on speed than in 2013, which is why they have decided to build a new and lighter car with fewer seats, while still going for a fully fledged .

"By deciding to further improve on our solar-powered four-person car, we're once again aiming to win while at the same time proving that this energy-positive family car offers a viable future scenario", says Solar Team Eindhoven's Team Manager Tom Selten.

Explore further: Student team unveils world's first solar-powered family car

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1 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2015
It isn't poco a poco anymore, it is full speed ahead for the electrification of transportation. I am surprised at how fast we are changing. But the reason is inertia/momentum: We were already developing these ideas earlier, and they got little or no attention. We are now following up on the technologies and ideas we had some years ago. And we have new technologies with which to do it.
5 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2015
It isn't poco a poco anymore, it is full speed ahead for the electrification of transportation.

Do you seriously listen to yourself?

The power available for such a car on a sunny day in Denmark is some hundreds of Watts. It has the power of a golf-cart. The reason why such ideas got little or no attention is because they're genuinely not very useful.

And on another point, that car is a deathtrap:
The only thing between you and a side impact from a SUV is a paper-thin sheet of aluminium.
5 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2015
By the time they've made it road-safe by adding crumple zones and a rigid cockpit with side buffers and airbags, the car will weigh 1000 pounds more. Then they'll have to replace the skinny bicycle wheels with proper tires which have many times the rolling resistance, and the range and speed drops, and it can no longer drive on sunshine.

It's one thing to make yourself a car from tube and glass fiber, and it may even be road legal, but if you want to sell those things they have to be crash tested, and that's where these ideas fails miserably. The only reason they're able to use so little energy is by skimping on every other quality of what people look for in a car.

not rated yet Jul 04, 2015
Eikka misses the point so he can deride the advancement. Nobody is going to buy that "car", it is to test ideas.

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