Solar

Dutch College Students Just Built the World’s First Solar-Powered Camper, and They’re Taking It On the Road

Dutch College Students Just Built the World’s First Solar-Powered Camper, and They’re Taking It On the Road

The automotive industry has finally started to embrace battery-powered vehicles—but students at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands are already thinking about what comes next.

A group of 22 coeds working under the name Solar Team Eindhoven has just unveiled Stella Vita, the world’s first entirely solar-powered camper, according to Ars Technica. The vehicle features a pop-up roof lined with solar panels that the students claim produce enough electricity to travel over 450 miles in a single day.

The Stella Vita, which the team calls a self-sustaining “house on wheels,” features a teardrop design that slopes dramatically in the rear. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing of designs, but the long roof provides plenty of surface area for solar panels. To further maximize this space, there are two partitions just below the roofline that pop out on both sides of the vehicle, effectively doubling the amount of solar panel area to 57.4 sq ft. The roof also pops up, increasing the interior space of the camper which is accessible via a rear set of passenger-side suicide doors. Inside, you’ll find a small cooking area and fridge, both of which run on solar power, as well as a toilet, couch and full-size bed with room for two adults.

Stella Vita solar-powered mobile home 

Solar Team Eindhoven

Although there are no details about the camper’s battery pack or powertrain, Solar Team Eindhoven says the camper’s solar setup will be able to produce enough energy to travel up to 453 miles on a sunny day, if appliance use is kept to a minimum. It will take between two and three days for the mobile home to fully recharge, though, so it’s best suited for leisurely trips where you can schedule stops of a few days or more.

Solar Team Eindhoven

To show off what the Stella Vita can do, Solar Team Eindhoven plans to take its camper on a long road trip this month. Right now, the plan is to set forth from Eindhoven on Sunday, September 19 and drive to Punta de Tarifa, the southernmost tip of Spain and Continental Europe. The distance between the two points is 1,468.5 miles, so it’ll be a good test of the camper’s capabilities.
Let’s hope nature doesn’t rain on their parade.

A Solar Roof Helps This New Electric SUV Concept Drive 500 Miles on a Single Charge

A Solar Roof Helps This New Electric SUV Concept Drive 500 Miles on a Single Charge

Californian start-up Humble Motors has just unveiled a new EV concept that will earn serious bragging rights if it comes to fruition. Billed as the “world’s first solar-powered SUV,” the Humble One is designed to run on energy captured from the sun for sustainable and self-sufficient cruising.

At first blush, the four-wheeler looks like a futuristic version of your average luxury crossover. What sets it apart, however, is the fact that it’s fitted with more than 80 square feet of highly efficient photovoltaic cells on the roof and windows. This setup is designed to supplement the battery pack and allow the car to cover more ground without stopping to charge.

Dima Steesy, who founded the fledgling automaker last year, told Robb Report the idea for the four-wheeler stemmed from a self-diagnosed case of “range anxiety.”

Humble One can comfortably fit four people. 

Humble Motors

“I live in Los Angeles and previously had a Tesla Model S,” Steesy shared via email. “Because there was no charger at my apartment building, I was constantly concerned about how much range I had left.”
While Steesy stresses that all specifications are calculations that have not yet been tested, Humble One is expected to have a not-so-humble range of 500 miles when running on the internal battery. Furthermore, the vehicle will be able to replenish up to 60 miles of range during the day thanks to the solar panels. This means you can effectively re-juice while you’re out and about without having to rely on charging stations that are in increasingly high demand. (Of course, standard AC and DC charging options will be available, too.)
The four-door, five-seat SUV has also been engineered to be as lightweight and aerodynamic as possible to further increase efficiency. It measures 198 inches in length, roughly the same as Tesla’s Model X. However, it weighs just 4,000 pounds, which is over 1,000 pounds lighter than its competitor.

The SUV has a touted top speed of 155 mph. 

Humble Motors

In terms of performance, Humble One is expected to have a peak power output of 1,020 hp and a top speed of 155 mph. It also has an estimated drag coefficient of 0.25 that will enable it to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. For context, the Plaid Model X has the same peak power output for a top speed of 163 mph and can sprint to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds.
“We believe that solar is the next step in mobility and that Humble Motors will be at the forefront of it,” Steesy adds.

Humble One will start from $109,000, excluding taxes and options. Manufacturing is scheduled to begin in 2024 and Humble Motors is now accepting non-binding $300 reservations. Deliveries are set to begin in 2025.
Check out more photos of Humble One below:

Humble Motors

Humble Motors

Humble Motors

Humble Motors

Humble Motors

Humble Motors

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