World Solar Challenge to feature Dutch five-seater car alongside sports models – Science News – Australia News


Teams preparing to take part in the World Solar Challenge event from Darwin to Adelaide have revealed the futuristic cars they plan to drive 3,000 kilometres — powered purely by the sun — in the October event.

They range from sleek single-seater sports models to a low-slung five-seater family car.

The Dutch team that won the passenger car “cruiser” class in the 2015 Solar Challenge — with a four-seat family vehicle called Stella Lux — has increased its seating capacity to five with new entry Stella Vie.

Team Eindhoven spokeswoman Beatrix Bos said Stella Vie also had a more efficient design.

“We have a curved roof this time. Normally, we always had a flat big roof, but now it’s more sexy, more curved and even better for aerodynamics,” Ms Bos said.

Solar Challenge aims to inspire new type of family car

The cruiser-class category of the World Solar Challenge encourages competitors to build cars that could lead to the development of a mass-production solar-powered family car.

Australia’s Team Arrow, based in Queensland, has switched over to the cruiser class as part of a plan to create a passenger car that can be produced commercially.

Adelaide’s Flinders University is working on its own version of a solar-powered passenger vehicle, but neither team has unveiled their cars yet, so it is not clear whether they will equal the five-seat standard set by world…

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