Students from Eindhoven University of Technology competing in this year’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia will do so in a stunning new vehicle featuring high-performance coatings supplied by AkzoNobel.
Unveiled by Solar Team Eindhoven in June, the Stella Vie is a solar-powered family car capable of traveling 1,000 kilometers on one full battery. In addition to offering technical advice to the team, AkzoNobel’s Specialty Coatings business has provided a range of innovative products, including sustainable primers, basecoat and clearcoat.
“Working with talented engineers and technicians is always a great experience, particularly when it involves a project that is so closely related to our own efforts to create a more sustainable future,” said Alberto Slikta, managing director of specialty coatings. “We pride ourselves on combining high-performance technology with world-class color expertise, and our exclusive partnership with Solar Team Eindhoven is an exciting way to showcase our capabilities.”
The team describes the car as “a balance between aerodynamic, aesthetic and practical design.” It will provide a stern test for the company’s coatings as it travels under the blistering sun of the Australian desert.
“Painting a solar car is not easy,” said Beatrix Bos, public relations manager for Solar Team Eindhoven. “AkzoNobel gave us lots of advice on how to do the job and which materials to use – and the end result looks fantastic.”
It won’t be the first time that AkzoNobel products have been used in the competition. The company’s Sikkens brand has partnered with the Dutch Nuon Solar team in the Challenger class for many years, with the team claiming its sixth victory in 2015.
The solar race’s focus on sustainability is reflected in several other ongoing partnerships. For example, AkzoNobel is supplying coatings technology for the Ocean Cleanup for the next five years, as well as coating all the boats competing in the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge takes place in October and involves traveling 3,000 kilometers from Darwin to Adelaide. It will be the third time that Solar Team Eindhoven has competed in the event’s Cruiser class.