Solar powered van stops in Paris as part of road trip

The solar-powered vehicle drives in a closed road, in Guyancourt, south of Paris, Friday Sept. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

A vehicle which is fuelled entirely by solar power has arrived in Paris, France as part of its test run on the way to Tarifa in Spain.

The road trip got off to a less than perfect start with drive train problems meaning the van, known as Stella Vita, was carried on a trailer from Eindhoven to Brussels and from the Belgian capital to Paris.

‘We want to just make kilometers to make sure that these small troubles are not going to come up again when we are just five kilometers on the road again. So we just want to test that,” says Laura Van Houtum, 22, a project manager on the trip.

The van, which has been made by a group of Dutch students, has a bed and cooking facilities inside.

The team that made it says that on a sunny day, it is capable of traveling 730 kilometers (454 miles) at a top speed of 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph).

They plan to travel 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles).

Solar panels on the roof generate enough energy to drive and live off the grid.

And thanks to its 60 kilowatt-hours battery, it can drive 600 kilometers (373 miles) at night.

The solar-powered vehicle is on display on a closed road, in Guyancourt, south of Paris, Friday Sept. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

“We want to make sure that you can also really drive on the road because otherwise, it’s road legal, but we didn’t drive. So that’s something I hope to see this couple of months,” says Laura.

Once it’s parked and its roof unfolded, it boasts 17.5 square meters (188 square feet) of solar panels – about as much as an average home’s roof can accommodate.

The vehicle was meant to hit the road back on 19 September, but some technical problems delayed its departure.

Its creators say their mobile home is part of a drive to tackle climate change by harnessing renewable energy sources.

The team hopes to start the road trip as soon as the vehicle passes some final tests.

by Associated Press


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