A new family car has been developed by Dutch students that is powered by the sun and generates more energy than it consumes. This four-seater car is designed to be efficient, intelligent and comfortable as well. This, Stella Lux will be competing in World Solar Challenge in Australia later this year.
Solar Team Eindhoven, a group from, different faculties of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), of 21 students was behind the development of Stella Lux. All these students took a break for a year and a half to work on this project that they termed as, “the car of the future”.
Winning the 2013 Cruiser Class of the World Solar Challenge, the precursor to Stella Lux, led to the developers believing that Solar Powered Family Cars were possible and now after achieving that, their goal now is to make the car sexy and user-friendly.
Using 5.8 sq m (62.4 sq ft) of Solar Cells, Stella generates electricity and packs an additional battery of capacity 15 kWh. According to the team, Stella runs for 1000 km (621 mi) in Dutch Climate and 1,100(684 mi) in Australian Climate, on a full charge. And it reaches a top speed of 125 km/h (78mph).
The designing of the car allows it to achieve these figures. The cars are kept lightweight and are designed aerodynamically using materials that include carbon fiber and aluminum which allow the car to weigh only 375 kg (827 lb).For the optimization of the aerodynamics of the car, a tunnel runs through the center of the car, and on either side, the car also sports an extended roof.
The Stella Lux features a special Navigation System that improves the efficiency of the automobile. Weather is monitored by this Solar Navigator System and a route in mapped accordingly for the most optimal performance.
Along with all these features, the Solar Lux also hosts the function of unlocking the car doors whenever a paired smartphone is in range. This smartphone app also helps calculating the routes based on user’s calendar appointments. Another feature is the touchscreen with haptic buttons that allow the driver to use it without taking his eyes off the road.
This October, Stella Lux will be participating in the Cruiser Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. A long race from Darwin to Adelaide, a 3000 km track, is the challenge keeping in view the comfort, practicality and “realizability” of the participant cruisers.
STE is receiving support from Crowdfunding Campaigns to support the project.