Dutch students on a roll with solar world-records

Dutch students at technical universities appear to be on a roll at the moment, winning one world record after another. The latest victors are a team of students from Eindhoven Technical University (TU/e) who have claimed the Cruiser Class in the World Solar Challenge 2013, in Adelaide, Australia.

family-sized vehicle ‘Stella’

The Dutch team led the race from the start with their solar-powered, family-sized vehicle ‘Stella’, although German and Australian teams closed towards the finish. The team completed the arduous 3,000km challenge with an average speed of 67 km/h, with top-speeds hitting 120 km/h. However, the challenge is also judged on practical aspects such as comfort, styling, ease of parking, and baggage space. Event Director Chris Selwood stated that after more than 3,000 kilometres it was perhaps fitting, in a category that was intended to bridge the gap between high-end technology and driving practicality, that the results would come down to practical design and the ability to appeal to everyday drivers. The Netherlands fielded a strong team during the week of solar races, with TU Delft winning the Challenger Class yet again with their NUNA 7 and University of Twente, taking third position. Recently, in other circumstances, teams from TU Delft claimed the world speed cycling record and also the record for fastest-accelerating electric vehicle.