July 23, 2024
Solar RV

Solar RV Team Develops First-Ever Solar Off-Roader for Boundless Nomadism

Eindhoven University of Technology Solar Team has made significant advancements in the development of electric vehicles (EVs) for limitless mobility, showcasing their latest creation – an all-electric off-road car powered by solar energy. This innovative vehicle features an expandable solar charging system and an aerodynamic profile that allows it to traverse rugged terrains without the need for external charging.

While solar EVs and e-RVs are slowly gaining popularity, their range and capabilities often fall short of the expectations of road travelers and adventurers. The Maxwell Vanacea was one of the first solar-powered camper vans on the market, utilizing solar energy to power both its drivetrain and onboard camping equipment. However, its limited solar panel array only added approximately 20 miles per day to its 250-mile battery range.

In contrast, the Stella Vita, developed by the Solar Team in 2021, significantly extended the sun-fueled range of solar RVs. With a multi-panel expandable solar system and highly efficient design, it added an additional 81 miles per sunny day to its 454-mile battery range. The Stella Vita could fully recharge in just two to three sunny days.

Building upon their solar EV expertise, the Solar Team has now introduced the Stella Terra, a solar-powered off-roader designed to operate in remote environments without access to charging infrastructure. The car relies solely on solar power to navigate canyons, mountain passes, and challenging terrains, providing a sustainable solution for off-road adventures.

The Stella Terra has been meticulously designed to withstand harsh off-roading conditions while remaining lightweight and efficient. The team custom-built various components, including the suspension and solar panel inverters, to ensure optimal performance. The vehicle weighs 2,646 pounds (1,200 kilograms) and features an aerodynamic design inspired by the Lightyear 0, known for its remarkable drag coefficient of 0.175.

Utilizing the available solar energy, the Stella Terra boasts an estimated range of up to 391 miles (630 kilometers) on a sunny day, with a top speed of 90 mph (145 km/h). Although not a full-blown camper like the Stella Vita, the Terra can power mobile devices and electric cooking appliances using its stored solar energy.

The Solar Team recently unveiled the Stella Terra and plans to conduct extensive off-road testing in Morocco. As with their previous projects, the team hopes to attract the attention of automotive industry experts who can further refine and commercialize this groundbreaking solar-electric vehicle.

With the development of the Stella Terra, the Eindhoven University of Technology Solar Team continues to push the boundaries of sustainable mobility and offers a glimpse into the future of solar-powered off-roading.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it