Stella Terra Electric Car Travels Over 1000KM Using Solar Power Across Sahara Desert

Stella Terra, dubbed ‘the world’s first off-road solar car,’ cruised through the Sahara Desert using only solar power. This electric SUV, revealed in September 2023, was crafted by students from Eindhoven University of Technology.

During the unveiling, the team revealed plans to develop a road-legal version of Stella Terra that complies with EU norms. This Stella Terra was designed to tackle an ambitious feat: a 1000km journey from Morocco’s North Coast, navigating the Sahara Desert. A unique condition set by the team for this challenge was the exclusion of external charging for the car’s battery, relying solely on solar power.

A month after its launch, the Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) achieved a remarkable feat, successfully navigating the challenging terrain of the Sahara Desert with Stella Terra, powered solely by the sun. Throughout the journey, the sole hiccup encountered by the team was a breakdown in the steering system. However, with the swift assistance of locals in the area, they managed to rectify the issue promptly.

Stella Terra harnesses solar energy through panels on its roof. Thanks to this innovative design and sturdy construction, the vehicle sustainably attains full self-sufficiency, enabling operation anywhere in the world. According to the people who built the car, the solar panel conversion efficiency is rated at an impressive 97%.

This road-legal solar car boasts a top speed of 145 kilometres per hour and weighs a mere 1,200 kilograms. On a sunny day, it can cover an impressive 710 kilometres, and when venturing off-road, the range typically hovers around 550 kilometres, contingent on the surface. Even on less sunny days, the vehicle remains capable, covering approximately 670 kilometres.

Wisse Bos, Solar Team Eindhoven Manager, said, “It was an incredible trip with a positive ending. Stella Terra’s efficiency was hard to predict. That’s why we weren’t sure if we would make it on solar power. During the ride, Stella Terra turned out to use 30 percent less energy than expected. We were able to drive the entire trip on the sun’s energy and did not depend on charging stations. We are pushing the boundaries of technology. With Stella Terra, we want to demonstrate that the transition to a sustainable future offers reasons for optimism and encourages individuals and companies to accelerate the energy transition.”

Stella Terra is changing the game for electric cars, making long-distance travel easier without worrying about charging stations. Also resulting in a cleaner and greener sustainable mobility.

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