The Solar-Powered Camry Fighting Family Sedan is Here (w/ video)

solar family sedan

Imagine a solar-powered electric car with room for 4 (four) adults and their luggage that has a full-charge operating range of more than 300 miles that can re-charge itself in a parking space without the need for a charging station. Would that kind of range be enough range to quell any lingering “range anxiety” worries? Would the ability to carry 4 people in relative comfort without the need for any fossil fuels be a game-changer? We’ll be able to stop imagining and start finding out very soon, thanks to the Stella – an honest-to-goodness 4-passenger, solar-powered electric family sedan with an astonishing 370+ mile range!

The Solar Car Gets Super-sized

 

Ultra-lightweight materials like carbon and aluminum-honeycomb composites make the stella lighter and stronger than comparably sized machines, and work in concert with some slick aero bits to give the Stella a range of more than 350 miles. In most cases, however, the energy generated by the Stella’s solar panels will be more than the car actually needs to keep its batteries “topped off”, and the Stella is equipped to send its excess energy back into to the power grid – making Stella an “energy-positive” car.

Like, Holy crap!

You can get a better sense of how the solar-powered family sedan, built by a team of students from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) to tackle Australia’s World Solar Challenge this October, in the videos, below. Enjoy!

This is a translation/summary of the Eindhoven team’s announcement, by Hans Huis, who was on the scene, and who filmed the video of the Stella’s first drive at the bottom of this page.

The Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) presented the world’s first solar-powered family car. “Stella” is the first “energy-positive car” with room for four people, a trunk, intuitive steering and a range of 600 kilometers (373 miles).

Source | Photos: Inhabitat, via Gizmodo.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.