Recently, 42 car racing teams have participated for a 1900 mile (3000 kilometer) trek in Australia, as part of the World Solar Challenge that focuses on energy efficiency. Unlike other car races, this solar-powered car race aims at utilizing less external energy. However, highlight of this year’s event has been the team Eindhoven from the Netherlands, who set a world record by driving Stella Lux family car to almost 930 miles (1500 kilometers) on a single charge.
The World Solar Challenge is all about driving a solar-powered car to as far as possible without consuming a lot of energy. Each car is allowed to store up to 5kW hours of energy in an onboard battery with the rest of the energy coming from either solar power or the kinetic energy of the vehicle. Meeting all these aforementioned conditions, Stella Lux cruiser holds the record to travel the most, while using very less amount of energy.
Stella Lux is a four-seater cruiser-style car of the future, by Eindhoven team from Eindhoven University of Technology. It is basically an intelligent energy-efficient car that’s supposed to produce more energy than it consumes over a year’s use. The car incorporates aerodynamic and energy-efficient design that has solar panels on its extended roof and also includes a center tunnel for proper airflow. Furthermore, the car is equipped with weather-based routing system, touch screen controls and intra-car communication to interact with nearby vehicles in different ways.
American CUER team with their sun-powered racing car called Evolution is also part of the competition. With two Australian teams and one American team leading the pack, the competition has become very tough this year. Final scores will be released this Sunday i.e. October 25, and these scores will be based on velocity, external energy consumption, practical use of the car, etc.