Van Life 2.0: Dutch students’ road trip in solar mobile home

Sep 24, 2021, 12:00 AM | Updated: 1:28 pm
The solar-powered vehicle is on display on a closed road, in Guyancourt, south of Paris, Friday Sep...

The solar-powered vehicle is on display on a closed road, in Guyancourt, south of Paris, Friday Sept. 24, 2021. A group of Dutch students has reimagined van life and is hitting the road to Portugal. Just don't call their groundbreaking new solar-powered vehicle a campervan. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A group of Dutch students has reimagined van life and is hitting the road to Portugal. Just don’t call their groundbreaking new solar-powered vehicle a campervan.

“We call it a self-sustaining house on wheels,” said Lotte van Dasler, part of a team from the Technical University in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven. “We are independent in terms of our energy. A camper isn’t, and we are. So I think that we make something new. New concept, new idea and new future — sustainable future.”

The sleek, odd-looking mobile home took a test drive Friday at a Renault facility outside Paris.

Solar panels on the roof of the vehicle, called Stella Vita, generate enough energy to drive and live off the grid. Its on-board information system shows just how much of that energy you use when you cook, take a shower or watch television.

“I think that is really cool because if you are aware of your energy consumption, you can make better choices to use less energy,” said team member Tijn ter Horst.

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

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.

To show it off, they’re driving 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) to Spain’s most southerly city, Tarifa.

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

At the test drive Friday near Paris, project manager Laura Van Houtum said, “We just want to make kilometers to make sure that these small troubles are not going to come up again.”

But its creators are sure that their mobile home is part of a drive to tackle climate change by harnessing renewable energy sources.

“We want to show that the future that we think is … 10 years ahead of us is already here,” said Van Dasler.

___

Alex Turnbull in Paris contributed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - This Wednesday, March 31, 2021 file photo shows empty vials of Johnson & Johnson's one-dose ...
Associated Press

COVID vaccine: CDC expands booster rollout, OKs mixing shots

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions more Americans can get a COVID-19 booster and choose a different company’s vaccine for that next shot, federal health officials said Thursday. Certain people who received Pfizer vaccinations months ago already are eligible for a booster and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says specific Moderna and Johnson & […]
21 hours ago
Hairdresser Caroline Shamoon of Joey Scandizzo Salon works on a client's hair in Melbourne, Friday,...
Associated Press

Qantas moves up flights as Australia expects tourists soon

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Qantas Airways on Friday brought forward its plans to restart international travel from Sydney as Prime Minister Scott Morrison predicted tourists would be welcomed back to Australia this year. Vaccinated Australian permanent residents and citizens will be free to travel through Sydney from Nov. 1 without the need for hotel quarantine […]
21 hours ago
FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2021, file photo, a security guard stands at the headquarters of China Everg...
Associated Press

Report: Struggling Chinese developer makes bond payment

BEIJING (AP) — A troubled Chinese developer whose struggle to avoid a multibillion-dollar debt default has rattled global financial markets wired $83.5 million on Friday to make an overdue payment to foreign bondholders, a government newspaper reported. Evergrande Group’s struggle to reduce its 2 trillion yuan ($310 billion) of debt to comply with tighter official […]
21 hours ago
President Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall at the Baltimore Center Stage Pearlstone Theate...
Associated Press

AP FACT CHECK: Biden overstates his record on COVID vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden botched the numbers behind the COVID-19 vaccine rollout Thursday as he stretched to take all the credit for the surge of shots once he was in office. A look at his remarks during a CNN town hall event: COVID BIDEN: “When I first was elected, there were only 2 […]
21 hours ago
FILE - In this May 25, 2021, file photo, Nissan's former chairman Carlos Ghosn speaks during an int...
Associated Press

Nissan ex-chair Ghosn set on restoring reputation

TOKYO (AP) — Carlos Ghosn, the former auto industry superstar whose career screeched to a halt with his arrest three years ago, isn’t about to settle into quiet retirement. The former head of the Nissan-Renault alliance fled to Lebanon in late 2019, while out on bail facing financial misconduct charges in Japan. In a recent […]
21 hours ago
A man lies still as devotees light oil lamps over his body as part of rituals to celebrate the tent...
Associated Press

AP Week in Pictures: Asia

Oct. 8-14, 2021 This photo gallery highlights some of the most compelling images made or published by Associated Press photographers in Asia and Pacific. The gallery was curated by AP photo editor Masayo Yoshida in Tokyo. Follow AP visual journalism: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/apnews AP Images on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AP_Images AP Images blog: http://apimagesblog.com Copyright © The Associated […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Van Life 2.0: Dutch students’ road trip in solar mobile home