Stella Terra’s 1000 Km Journey Powered By Solar

Highlights :

  • The world’s first “off-road solar-powered vehicle” has just completed a 1000 km journey through Morocco’s rugged desert terrain.
Stella Terra’s 1000 Km Journey Powered By Solar Image Courtesy: STE/bart van overbeeke

Built by a team of students at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE), Stella Terra, or  “the world’s first off-road solar-powered vehicle could help connect remote areas “where roads are less developed and energy grids are not as reliable,” and assist with emergency aid and deliveries, says Thieme Bosman, Events Manager for the team.

The team tested the vehicle in Morocco earlier this month, driving more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) between the country’s northern coast and the Sahara Desert in the south.

“Morocco has a huge variety of landscapes and different surfaces in quite a short distance,” says Bosman, adding that the car was tested “on every type of surface that a car like this could encounter.”

Stella Terra claims a top speed of 145 kilometers (90 miles) per hour. On a sunny day, its battery range is around 710 kilometers (441 miles) on roads, and around 550 kilometers (342 miles) off-road, depending on the surface. In cloudy conditions, the team estimates the range could be 50 kilometers less.

Bosman noted that the vehicle had proved to be one-third more efficient than expected on the trip, and that its lightweight design made it less liable to get stuck on rugged terrain, and put less stress on its suspension.

Care has been taken to keep the weight down, to ensure higher range as well as avoid getting stuck on the uneven terrain it travelled through.  While the panels are placed on the bonnet and roof of the car, the battery pack has also been kept as light as possible so that the final weight of the vehicle comes in at 1200 kg.

"Want to be featured here or have news to share? Write to info[at]