World’s First Solar-Powered Family Car Goes 500 Miles on a Single Charge

By: | November 21st, 2014

You know who is burning up the roads almost as much as truck drivers? Families. From shuttling the kids to school to soccer games, moms and dads are constantly on the roadways.

And while the world is rushing to promote alternative fuel sources, solar technology still remains the most logical one amongst all alternative fuel technologies. Still, solar-powered electric cars have been around for a couple of decades now but these cars are mostly small, stripped-down vehicles only. They are most definitely not street legal and only big enough for one or two passengers. Forget about loading up your family of four in one of them.

Stella, world’s first family vehicle, to be powered completely by sunshine

Stella isn’t all about alternative fuels; it is packed with high-tech novelties and room, yes room, to fit a family inside. If you are exceeding the speed limit, its steering wheel will expand in your hands to signal that you are driving too fast.  While turning, you just have to squeeze the appropriate side of the steering wheel to activate the turn signals.

Stella is a result of collaboration between the Eindhoven University of Technology and Dutch company NXP Semiconductors. The solar modules are made by SunPower, the Silicon Valley Company and the lithium-ion batteries come from Panasonic, which supplies Tesla.

  • Stella can carry four people in a low roof cabin.
  • It has a top speed of about 75 miles per hour due to its extremely aerodynamic shape.
  • Its 15-foot-long and five-foot-wide body is made of carbon fiber.
  • Stella is capable of traveling up to 500 miles on a single charge.

It recently completed a drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco along California’s coastal highway.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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