Electric vehicles will transform the way we travel in more ways than one, and students at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands imagine what that could be like. Twenty-two students are part of Solar Team Eindhoven, which designed and built the world’s first solar motorhome. Her name is Stella Vita, and she foreshadows a sustainable lifestyle and mobility.
The solar panels of the motorhome are able to power the various functions of the motorhome and the vehicle itself. On a sunny day, the motorhome can travel up to 730 kilometers (453 miles). They can also power things like the coffee maker and television while you charge your laptop and shower. The motorhome also has a sunroof which increases the interior headroom, making it much easier to stand inside when cooking, working or doing other things.
The design of the motorhome is focused on utility, maximizing interior space, aerodynamics and surface area. The tall, long roof was needed for collecting the solar panels that completely cover it, but that’s not all. There are additional solar panels that fold out when the roof is raised, doubling the area and increasing its solar consumption. There are no details about the battery or the propulsion system that powers the motorhome.
The interior looks spacious and comforting, and the overall design of the motorhome looks futuristic. Electric vehicles will give designers more freedom to imagine new ways of getting around, and a solar-powered motorhome doesn’t seem impossible on the road. Students will travel across Europe on the Stella Vita to the southernmost tip of Spain on September 19, using only solar power to get there. If you’re traveling in Europe, keep an eye out for this odd-looking vehicle – you might be driving next to the motorhome of tomorrow. It may take several years for such a product to become a reality.