(CNN) – Traveling on Europe’s freeways, the motorhome called “Stella Vita” has traveled nearly 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) without stopping for fuel or plugging in to load.
Described as a “self-sustaining home on wheels,” the camper has solar panels installed on its roof and runs solely on solar energy.
It is fully equipped with basic living elements, including a double bed, sofa, kitchen and bathroom with shower, toilet and sink. It can accommodate two people, who can drive, cook breakfast and watch TV with just the vehicle’s solar-charged battery, according to its creators: Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. 22 students of
“The main goal is to really motivate people, the market and society to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future,” says 21-year-old Tjen ter Horst, a member of Solar Team Eindhoven 2021, which developed the vehicle. With funding from sponsors. “What we’re trying to do is show people and show companies what’s already possible.”
A motorhome allows two people to drive, shower, make a cup of coffee and watch TV using only the sun’s energy.
STE / Bart van Overbeeke
The team started brainstorming for the project last September and within two months came up with the idea for Stella Vita. From November 2020 to March of this year, they designed the camper van with the goal of making it as aerodynamic and light as possible, even if they left it well.
In July, they finished building it and began testing the vehicle on the road. The camper was granted a public road license in early September and began its European tour later that month.
After starting in Eindhoven, the team completed the 3,000 km (1,860-mi) journey to Tarifa, the southernmost tip of Spain, on 15 October. Technical problems at the start of the route meant that initially the motorhome had to be towed with a trailer. However, once resolved, he was able to run nearly 2,000 miles.
“It’s a very special-looking car, so when you drive through Paris or any other city, there’s all these people waving and taking pictures,” Horst says. “It’s great to see what we’ve achieved in a year and look forward to inspiring more people.”
Solar Team Eindhoven meets Stella Vita in Paris with Dutch Ambassador to France Peter de Goijer.
STE / Bart van Overbeeke
Movement for a sustainable future
Typically, the vehicle can travel up to 600 km with its 60 kW battery on a full charge, even at night and in cloudy conditions. On a day when the sun shines all the time, its range increases by an additional 130 km (81 mi). The team traveled approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles) between each destination at a top speed of 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour.
When parked, the extendable roof can be raised to allow passengers to stand and slide additional solar panels down the sides, doubling the solar area to 8.8.