Most of the super efficient green cars on the market aren’t really designed for regular folks. In fact, some of the vehicles with the highest fuel economy are only made to hold one person: the driver. Those contraptions can move right over to the slow lane, though, because a Dutch team of solar engineering students has developed a family-friendly green car that actually generates more energy than it uses.
Meet Stella Lux, the solar-powered car that seats up to four, created by students at Solar Team Eindhoven. Stella Lux doesn’t look like any family car currently on the market. It’s a natural born lowrider, with skinny tires and a peculiar shape that resembles a catamaran. All of these features aid in the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, making it lighter and more aerodynamic than the average grocery getter. The Lux edition is an upgrade to a previous concept car, simply known as Stella, which we covered upon its release in 2013. The first generation Stella could travel up to 500 miles on a single charge, while the Lux has reached 621 miles in sunny day tests in the Netherlands.
In the same year it was launched, the original Stella won the World Solar Challenge, a biennial 1,875-mile race across the Australian outback. The updated 2015 model Stella will take on that same race later this year. Stella Lux will compete in the Cruiser Class of family cars, which emphasizes practicality and user-friendly qualities, rather than pure speed. That said, the student engineering team is hoping to see improvements to speed over the previous Stella’s performance. The race begins October 18, so Stella Lux has a little time left to prepare for the big day.
Images via Bart van Overbeeke for TU Eindhoven