Taking a ride at the speed of sunlight

Taking a ride at the speed of sunlight

“Stella”, the world’s first solar-powered, energy positive family vehicle, is currently on tour in the USA.  Designed by students at the Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands, Stella can drive almost 500 miles on a single charge and is both CO2 neutral and energy positive, producing twice as much energy as it consumes. NXP’s V2V technology and Stella highlight next-generation urban mobility solutions to address the current and future mobility needs of mega cities. Solar energy is perfectly suitable for daily use of cars and Stella easily complies with all electric car standards.

Stella made it’s USA debut at ITS World Congress in Detroit where it demonstrated the benefits of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications.  Following ITS World Congress, Stella will travel to Los Angeles for National Drive Electric Week, kicking off its tour by driving up the California Coast along Highway 1, set to make key stops in both Sacramento and San Francisco. Stella’s debut arrives at a critical time as more applications connect to the Internet and consumers and manufactures demand more safety, convenience and customized entertainment while on the road.

While on tour in California, Stella made a stop at the NXP Semiconductors office in San Jose where employees had the opportunity to meet with the students, ask questions, and get to go for a ride.  Stella gets a lot of attention and stares from people on the street with it’s unique design and low profile.  Employees shared their thoughts to get the opportunity to ride in Stella and here are some of their quotes:

Robby: “I would love to take “her” for a spin. Why you may ask?  I’ve always wanted to ride at the speed of sunlight!”

Kendrick: “I work for NXP and am proud to work for this company and want to show people how cool it is to ride in this car and work for this great company. I  want to see how our connection to the V2X technology that leads to the success to this Stella car”

Kris: “I’ll be the coolest mom in the carpool!”

Saurin: “After EVs, Solar cars is the next big transportation evolution.  Getting hands-on trial on the revolutionary vehicle so far ahead of time would be great experience. That too when my own company has components designed in! STELLAr experience that would be.”

Stephane: “Dreaming of a journey to the Moon is outdated, the new hype is a ride  with the Sun. Count me in!”

Xiaowei: “I want to introduce my kids to what the car will look and feel like in the near future, and let them see the picture of their mother going for a ride in it.”

Sheena: “Like the movie “A Streetcar Named Desire”, I see myself saying  “Hey Stella. Hey Stella , Hey Stella” as like Marlon Brando, while riding in the “Stella” the First Family Solar Car in San Jose.”

Anno: “Riding yesterday’s solid, plain-old car to work in the morning: Nice. Cruising a vision of tomorrow’s dreams on wheels in the afternoon: Priceless.”

Here is Stella’s California tour details:

Monday, September 15

  • National Drive Electric Week kick-off at HQ Plugshare, Venice Beach

Tuesday, September 16

  • Coastal Ride from Paso Robles to Bay Area via Carmel for their Drive Electric Week kick-off. Arrival in San Francisco (Golden Gate Park/Residence of the Consul General of The Netherlands)

Wednesday, September 17

  • Education and future of automotive discussions between Stanford University and TU/Eindhoven  solar car teams

Thursday, September 18

  • Visit to California State Government and local middle school to engage with the public and drive awareness of alternative transportation options

Friday, September 19

  • Roundtable discussion on connected vehicle security hosted by Prof. Dan Sperling  at UC Davis including partners Cisco, Econolite, IBM, NXP, UC Davis, Secunet

Saturday, September 20

  • Visit Cupertino’s National Drive Electric Week event  with the Holland e-Mobility House and part of Guinness Book of World Records attempt for most EV’s in a parade

Sunday, September 21

  • Visit Monterey Bay: Santa Cruz/Capitola Mall National Drive Electric Week event with the Holland e-Mobility House

Monday September 22

  • Media event in San Francisco to discuss connected vehicle security hosted by the Consulate General of The Netherlands  including partners Delphi, Econolite, IBM, NXP, UC Davis, Secunet

Follow Stella on Facebook (https://nl-nl.facebook.com/SolarTeamEindhoven) and Twitter (#StellaNXP )

NXP leads the Future of Automotive

Connected car technologies are not just the next wave in automotive development, it’s also part of a larger consumer safety initiative. Cars communicating to each other have a much better view of what is ahead on the street so ultimately defining an optimal driving speed can be communicated between infrastructure as well as cars to someone else behind you. You can also use car-to-car communication to increase the efficiency of traffic flow.  Here are some key statistics that NXP’s secure technologies are helping to address:

–        Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young adults in the US, with an annual death toll of 33,000, over 2.3 million injuries and an economic cost of $871 billion

–        Traffic congestion costs Americans another $120 billion in wasted time and fuel

–        The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technology could potentially reduce the impact of 80 percent of all unimpaired vehicle crashes, saving lives and dramatically reducing the nearly $1 trillion cost of crashes and congestion to American families and our nation’s economy.




At NXP, innovation is always now, but our focus is always the future. Our dedicated team of experts is united by a passion to make everyday life more remarkable through technologies that continually redefine life as we know it.


  1. Avatar Karl Kelman says:

    Fascinating idea! I wonder, however, what the metrics and assumptions are used to determine that the car is “energy positive, producing twice as much energy as it consumes.” With extended use during the night, I’d assume the car would need to be plugged in and be a net energy consumer. However, if it was sitting in a very sunny driveway and only driven occasionally, Stella would be a large energy exporter.

  2. Avatar Will says:

    Consider a trip to Florida – where the 2014 “Great Race” (from Maine to Florida in antique cars) ended – it would be appropriate!

  3. Avatar N5SK says:

    It needs a truck ahead of it and another one behind, so it burns up over twice as much gasoline as just one conventional car. It also has no air conditioning or heating, so it’s not very practical especially because it can’t be driven at night or when it’s windy.

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