There is no global solar challenge for Eindhoven this year. Not just because the annual race in Australia has been canceled due to the Coronavirus. But because students take a different approach. Unlike their predecessors, they now come with a self-sufficient home on wheels.
Show –Self-sufficient house on wheels As the whole car is called, it generates enough electricity to drive 600 kilometers with a full battery. Moreover, this energy can be used for taking a hot shower, watching TV, charging laptop and phone, and making coffee for example. “Basically everything you use in normal life,” explains Charlotte Filderhoff of Eindhoven’s Solar Team. “But without relying on the network. We believe this illustrates the future of both self-sufficiency in living and mobility.”
Even if the Solar Challenge were taken this year, students would not be traveling to Australia. “We took a close look at our crystal ball and decided to build something else,” joked Wilderhof.
The real reason is different, of course: “Our ancestors did not make it easy for us. They kept developing the family car, it was very solid. We continued this. What does the future of sustainable mobility look like in our opinion? We think vehicles can make a difference in energy transmission. The wagon is beautiful. Use case To prove it. “
Whether it is the cart or not?
Although students themselves prefer not to call it a cart. Because: “A little old.” Wilderhof: “We also want to attract a new, younger target group. It is not only a sustainable way to travel or enjoy a vacation. But also a different way of life. It is more than just a mobile home. With this vehicle you not only have enough power to drive, but you can also Standing still for a longer period of time to do your job, for example.
Solar Eindhoven hopes to be able to hit the road with SHOW in September. Students are busy planning a tour of Southern Europe. On the way they stop in all kinds of places to show their cars to other companies and institutions. “Why travel all the way to Australia while we can inspire others closer to home? We want to signal this. We will never achieve climate targets if we continue down the current norm. The energy transition to sustainable mobility, among other things, needs to be much faster.” We are showing that it is possible. ”“ A year ago, we had nothing, ”says Wilderhof confidently.
A new look at sustainable mobility
According to her, there are several reasons why the student team could make this car in one year. “We have never all worked in a company. We are recent college graduates and are very open about it. Everyone has a new vision of mobility and we want to show that things can be done differently. We have helped a lot with this that we got released by the university and the partners. We get it.” All the support we needed… But we set the path. ”“ I think an open mind works in our favor, ”explains Wilderhof.
According to Filderhoff, the fact that the team members knew in advance that they only had one year played a role. “You know you’ll work on this for a year. It’s hard work and perseverance. Also because most of them will continue their studies after that. That pressure helps.”
Bringing books into practice
Despite the long days, Wilderhof did not want to miss this. “It’s a great experience. I’m in constant conversation with companies and partners. In a short time, I’ve learned a lot about the side of business administration and make many useful connections. This is also great for our engineers. In university you learn a lot, but you do little. Now they bring these books to practice.” The fact that all disciplines come together, because all the individual parts of the vehicle must be able to talk to each other, is an enormous educational process for them. ”
Wilderhof and her team still have about four months to complete the show. That’s why they have a large factory hall on the Brainport Industries (BIC) campus at their disposal. According to her, this would be fine. “We have a lot of room here and contacting other companies is good. Everyone is willing to contribute. We can also contact the university or partners if we encounter something. But our design is well laid out and we have assembled many companies to support us. In terms of parts, we already have almost everything. We are looking at Only about companies that want to support us financially during the tour. “