Solar Team Eindhoven wins Cruiser Class at World Solar Challenge

Student team Solar Team Eindhoven of TU/e retained the Cruiser Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia with a win that is not only a milestone for the team but also in the way that this victory was achieved. The car covered 3,000 kilometers all the way from Darwin to Adelaide carrying two occupants at an average speed of 76 kilometers per hours. The Cruiser category is for family cars where the number of occupants, energy consumption and innovation are considered in addition to the time. The winner was announced earlier today.

By winning the Cruiser class this year, the team has prolonged its world title won in 2013. “The crowning glory for our work,” says Tom Selten, the team manager. “But this performance also underlines the innovation and reliability we have built into the car.” This is the first time that a solar-powered car has covered three thousand kilometers with two people on board during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The first 1,500 kilometer till Alice Springs was covered even with an average speed of 80 kilometers per hours without charging from the grid. In view of the average speeds achieved, this is regarded as an exceptional performance for electric transport.

Japanese competition
At the finish in Adelaide, Australia, Solar Team Eindhoven came in second behind team Kogakuin from Japan. The teams were split by 50 minutes. However, in contrast to the Japanese team, Solar Team Eindhoven carried two people, for which extra points were awarded. The final part of the points awarded in the Cruiser class is a jury adjudication. The car was put through its paces in terms of comfort, user-friendliness, integrated innovations as well as trunk space and parallel parking. “They were really impressed by the car’s possibilities,” a proud Tom Selten smiled.

Event Director Chris Selwood said that after more than 3,000 kilometers it was fitting, in a category that was intended to bridge the gap between technology and driving practicality, that the results would come down to consumer appeal and practical design. “I congratulate Team Eindhoven on their innovation, practical design with the every-day driver in mind and interior style. ‘Stella Lux’ is a wonderful solar car in a field of exceptional cars and teams. I look forward to 2017 and the prospect of more cruisers being road registered, as we work toward the world’s most efficient electric car,” Chris said.

Car of the future
The Solar Team Eindhoven car, Stella Lux, has seating for four people, a Dutch license plate and is equipped with all kinds of innovative technology such as wireless charging and a navigation application for smartphones that synchronizes energy consumption with the route. The car is so sustainable that it generates more energy than it consumes, even in the Netherlands, which is not well known for it's sunny weather. Students of TU Eindhoven regard it as the family car of the future and consider it a realistic solution to mobility problems such as emissions.