The problem with many solar powered vehicles is that there are simply to small and are not practical for carrying anything more than the driver — forget about passengers. A solar powered vehicle known as Stella, designed by Solar Team Eindhoven, is capable of carrying four persons a fair distance on a single charge.
It has a range of 373 miles from a single charge which is actually pretty decent. It even generates more energy than needed for driving and this extra energy can be fed back into an electrical grid. A large part of this level of efficiency comes about from the vehicle being made from lightweight carbon and aluminum — it is quite light.
This wonder vehicle is expected to participate in the World Solar Challenge in October where it will battle against other solar powered vehicles in an 1875 mile journey through the Australian outback. Speed will not be the only deciding factor of the race however; the number of people transported, the amount of electricity utilized from the grid as well as user friendliness will be taken into consideration.
It is developments like Stella and events like the World Solar Challenge that help to drive forward solar energy as well as energy efficiency and I’m quite excited to see how the car does in this year’s race.