Electric cars might be the future, but they have their flaws. For starters, charging is a hassle, and leaves you without a car for long periods of time. And the power used by most charging stations isn’t exactly clean. But that’s just for cars, electrifying RVs is even more challenging considering most electric cars can’t make it 300 miles without a charge. But a bunch of college students at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands are changing that, by introducing a solar-powered RV.
The facts and stats of the Stella Vita solar RV
Designed and engineered by 22 university students, the Stella Vita boasts some impressive specs considering it’s a school project. According to Solar Team Eindhoven, this electric motorhome can manage 453 miles on a sunny day, and 372 miles when the battery is full. Sure, having a range that’s dependent on the weather is odd, but 372 miles is still a decent number for electric vehicles.
What’s more, the Stella Vita RV is independent of charging stations, which means you never have to “stop” to charge. And every time you do stop, the car will always be charging (unless it’s dark outside). The Stella Vita accomplishes this by using 8.8 square meters of solar panels, which can be extended to 17.5 square meters of solar panels when you’re stopped.
So it’s nailed being an electric vehicle, but how about an RV? Well, the Stella Vita comes with everything you’d expect in a normal RV, including a kitchen, shower, toilet, a bed, and a living room. There’s even a TV inside, powered by the same electricity used to drive the RV. In other words, it’s a proper RV that doesn’t pollute.
As the world transitions to electric vehicles, many segments (such as RVs) are being left behind. So, for a moment, I want to dive into an opinion as to why solar power is perfect for RVs.
Why solar is the perfect solution for RVs
For starters, not having to fill up on gas will be remarkably cheaper in the long run. And while many criticize electric cars for having a lower range, that’s not necessarily an issue if you’re using a solar car. You charge while you drive, and you’re always charging no matter where you park.
This is especially good for RVs because most of their lives are spent in park. You go to a campsite, and you stay there for a couple of days. For the Stella Vita, it takes two or three days to charge from empty to full. Obviously, that depends on how sunny it is. But if you book a three-day stay at a RV park, you don’t have to spend any money on gas to go to the next one. In other words, solar makes RVing cheaper than ever.
And you don’t have to install charging stations at RV parks, which would require a lot of construction on natural lands. Instead, just park the RV, and you’re done.
Personally, I think solar is far better than electric. After all, charging a car still produces emissions. And there are already solar powered cars with incredibly range. In short, the sun is free energy, and hopefully, there’s a future for it.
The future of the Stella Vita
As of right now, the Stella Vita is prepping for a 3,000km (or 1,800 mile) road trip through Europe, starting in the Netherlands and ending at the southern tip of pain. It’ll make various stops along the route, not just to charge, but to showcase the innovative vehicle to other communities.
The Stella Vita and other solar innovations will, hopefully, inspire other companies to do the same. It could inspire a shift in technology, just as electric car technology has been rapidly advancing. After all, if a group of 22 students can manage can manage to build a working solar RV, so can major automakers.