Stella Makes Her US Debut

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You may remember a lovely “family-sized” solar-powered electric car named Stella. She raced in last year’s World Solar Challenge and won in the Michelin Cruiser Class. Reportedly, the Eindhoven crew behind the solar-powered car is looking to commercialize it within 5–10 years. Perhaps the US trip is aimed at connecting with potential investors.

Below are a bunch of photos of Stella at PlugShare’s offices in Venice, California, to launch National Drive Electric Event. Following the pictures is a lot more info on Stella. Thanks to Zan Dubin Scott of Plug In America for passing along the pictures! And thanks to PlugShare for initially taking and sharing them.

Zan also attended the second day of National Drive Electric Week (Tuesday) at UCLA. There are a couple of pictures from that day down at the bottom as well. Regarding the UCLA event, Zan wrote: “We had a great event at UCLA yesterday. Hundreds attended, despite a heat wave in Los Angeles. We gave some 150 test drives in a dozen different EVs.”

Birds Eye With Chevy Volt
Stella in front. Chevy Volt behind.
Stella 4
Stella in front. Chevy Volt behind.

Stella 5

Stella 6

Stella 7

Stella 8

Stella 9

Stella 10

Stella 11

Stella 12

Stella 13

Stella 14

Stella Launches up the Coast

A Tesla Model S at the UCLA National Drive Electric Week event.
A BYD electric bus at the UCLA National Drive Electric Week event.

ZDS, PVD and Team Eindhoven with Stella


Passed along to me by Plug In America: “Solar panels on the car mean you don’t have to plug it in to charge it. It has a 500-mile range, speeds up to 75-mph and a 15-kWh lithion-ion battery. The solar array is 1.5 kW, about the size for a small home. Thank you to the Dutch government and the Eindhoven University of Technology, whose students designed, built and raced Stella to win the 2013 World Solar Challenge, birthplace of the storied EV1, which launched our era’s EV resurgence. On average, Stella can generate twice the electricity it uses in a typical day. Students expect to see the car commercialized in five to 10 years. ‘This is a packaged deal, your energy comes with the car,’ said Lex Hoefsloot, leader of Stella’s Eindhoven student team.”

Lex added: “We were frustrated that the only solar-powered cars were one-seaters. We hadn’t seen this technology evolve in 20 years. We thought, why don’t we do it!” Their bigger goal is to counter climate change. They hope the car encourages solar and car companies to build similar solar-powered cars.

And here’s more info from the Eindhoven team leader:

Stella took 1.5 years from conception to road-ready. It is now driving along the coast toward its next National Drive Electric Week event in Cupertino on Saturday, 9-20. It uses solar panels commonly used on homes with a special light-weight coating that avoided the use of heavy glass.

The average person in Holland drives 37km or 25 miles per day. Stella can go 70km per day, roughly twice what’s needed.

Eindhoven students are developing a plan to commercialize the car. Stella is the first prototype. It could be on the market in 5–10 years. “It’s not going to be easy, but we have to try,” Hoefsloot said.

Stella consists of existing technology. Common solar panels. A Panasonic lithium-ion battery.

Peter Van Deventer, Diplomatic Liaison and Director of the Consulate General of The Netherlands’ Coast to Coast e-Mobility program, said that Stella was brought to the US through a public-private partnership with the Dutch government being the public partner….

Stella officially kicked off National Drive Electric Week and will drive in Cupertino’s National Drive Electric Week event parade on 9-20 to try to break the world record and receive a Guinness World Records(TM) certificate…. Stella will officially conclude National Drive Electric Week on 9-21 in Capitola, CA.

Photos by PlugShare, courtesy of Plug In America.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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