Solar Team Eindhoven’s solar car arrived home, in Eindhoven, yesterday in one piece after a boat trip from Australia.
The team from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) won the World Solar Challenge last year. This is a race in Australia for solar-powered cars. However, getting the car back to Eindhoven turned out to be quite a challenge.
The team had trouble finding a shipping company that was prepared to transport this piece of high-tech. During the race, Delft University of Technology’s car burst into flames. A spark has shut the car’s engine down.
Shippers not to keen to transport the car
The car’s battery is another sticky point, which was not mass-produced. The high safety requirements for carrying such a battery meant shippers were not eager to transport the vehicle.
The fact that the solar car named Stella Era would arrive in Eindhoven without damage was not a matter of course. In the run-up to the World Solar Challenge, the car’s solar panel was severely damaged during transport from the Netherlands to Australia. This damage put the team’s participation in the World Solar Challenge at risk.
“We are thrilled Stella Era is safe in the Netherlands again”, Katelijn van Kooten, the team’s Exterior Design Engineer, says. “Because of the bad luck with the transport on the way there, we were extra anxious”. The damage not only caused the team a lot of stress and extra work at the time. It was also a financial setback. Luckily the team was able to raise enough money through crowdfunding to replace the damaged panel.
The plan is that now that Stella Era is back in the Netherlands, the students will show off this winning car at all kinds of events. In this way, they hope to inspire people and the industry to switch to sustainable transport. When this will happen is unclear, taking the coronavirus measures into account.
Editor: Melinda Walraven