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Solar car TU/e wins gold at the World Solar Race

Stella Era four-time winning model in Cruiser Class

Solar Team Eindhoven, the team of Eindhoven University of Technology, has taken top honors in the Cruiser Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (WSC) for the fourth time in a row. The team completed the more than three thousand kilometer long stage from Darwin to Adelaide with the highest efficiency score of all teams. Also in the assessment of the solar cars by the professional jury, yesterday, the team outscored its rivals by far. Solar Team Eindhoven has won all editions of the Cruiser Class of the WSC so far.

The Cruiser Class was introduced in 2013 because the well-known World Solar Challenge was too far removed from normal car use. The new class was intended to close that gap, so that the results of the World Solar Challenge really find their way into practice. In the Cruiser Class, it's not necessarily the fastest car that wins, but the one that excels in efficiency, comfort, design and innovation.

With unique features such as autonomous searching for the sun and the sharing of solar energy with other electric cars, appreciation was high for the Eindhoven team with its four-seater solar car, Stella Era.

Given some significant setbacks for the team, the students were even happier than they might have been – like the arrival of the solar car Stella Era in Darwin with a damaged solar panel and the problems the team had with the electrical system two weeks before the start, the cause of which was initially unknown. Carijn Mulder, team manager: "Due to the setbacks in the preparation, we missed a lot of test days, so we weren't sure of what to expect during the Challenge."

In addition, the strong headwind on the longest stage of 1200 kilometers was a big challenge. The team had to cover that distance on one battery charge. Solar Team Eindhoven was one of the two teams that finished this stage on time, which meant that it incurred no penalty time.

Video footage of the race and the award ceremony are available here.