Eindhoven company Autarco has developed special solar panels for a self-built car which will be driven to the South Pole.
Wilco van Rooijen and Edwin ter Velde made the car themselves of waste plastic. Furthermore, the car runs entirely on solar energy. The solar panels are specially made to withstand the extreme cold of Antarctica.
The creators want to draw attention to climate change. Van Rooijen: “We are not going for nothing to the South Pole. The South Pole is located on the Antarctic continent and it is our last untouched continent of the world. Antarctica belongs to no one, and fortunately we have an Antarctic treaty which says that no one is allowed to leave waste. How great is that. We should have one for the rest of the world. And this is possible, but we will need to adapt ‘habitual behavior’. We have tried to do that in an inspiring way!”
In January, the South Pole should be reached. Then it is summer in Antarctica. A favorable time because of the 24-hour light.
Also the snow will be taken into account. Normal solar panels capture only light from above. But the car has special sliding panels which can also absorb the sunlight reflected from the snow. In the spring of 2017, the car will be tested on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen.