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7/7/13

Solar Energy: Students in the Netherlands unveil a solar-powered family car - by Lauren Hockenso

STELLA Solar Passenger car
Will we ever be able to live in a world powered by the sun? Solar Team Eindhoven, made up of students from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, has solved a crucial part of going solar: An solar-powered car that comfortably seats a family of four.

Named Stella after the latin word for “star,” the proof-of-concept vehicle comes equipped with solar cells that actually collect more energy than is used by the car’s engine, sharing surplus solar energy back to the power grid. The car’s development began just last September, and the group of 22 students across multiple disciplines of the Eindhoven University of Technology built the car from the ground up in only six months.

The materials used on the Stella’s body – carbon and aluminum — work in combination with its bullet-like aerodynamic design to maximize efficiency without sacrificing space. In addition to powerful generators and a futuristic look, the car can seat a family of four, has enough room for a trunk and even has a smart steering wheel that expands or contracts depending on how fast the car is going (a sign that the driver is either too fast or too slow).

The car, which has a range of 600 kilometers or roughly 372 miles, doesn’t have a top speed available and isn’t likely to breeze past the one currently in your driveway. However, Solar Team Eindhoven does have plans to make the Stella officially street legal. Click here to see the video

Read more: Students in the Netherlands unveil a solar-powered family car — Tech News and Analysis

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