Newsletter 20: Design In Progress

13 - 12 - 2016

Solar Team Eindhoven Newsletter #20

King Filip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium at the High Tech Campus next to Stella



Just two and a half months after we started, our first important milestone is nearly there! On December 18th, the aerodynamic design of the new car will be finished. Our mechanical engineers Emile, Nils, Kyron and designer Tijmen are working hard to optimize the shape of the vehicle. This is not as simple as it seems since the shape can be influenced by every part in the car. We need to know where each component, such as wheels, steering system and motor controllers need to be placed to know how big the outer shell can be. An optimal collaboration between our engineers is theformula for an optimal result!

We had an amazing experience in the city of Austin! First we took the Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler, for a drive in Stella Lux. He is officially the very first mayor to drive in his own town with a solar powered car. It was amazing tosee how interested he was in Stella Lux and the possibilities to turn Austin into a smart city. Together with companies like NXP, we are able to combine smart technologies with cars to communicate with other road users and the infrastructure.

In the afternoon we visited the University of Texas. We met with TexSun solar car team and the Austin Technology Incubator. We had lots of discussions on how to start a project like ours and what the best practices are to be able to excel.

The next day we brought Stella Lux to the wafer fab of NXP in Austin. We gave a presentation to the factory employees and were asked interesting and challenging questions. It was wonderful to show our car to one of our main sponsors.

Currently, Stella Lux is stored at the UT campus until we will join the trade delegation of the ministry of foreign affairs of The Netherlands when they visit California in January.


As an industrial designer I did not have much experience with executing the tasks of an Account Manager. Originally, I was quite nervous to make phone calls and meetings with potential partners were almost nerve wrecking! It is funny to realise that that was only three months ago, but it feels like I have already gained a year of experience since then.

In this project I especially try to focus on two activities: trying to understand things and putting things in motion. To understand things, I like to deal with theories and methods from the marketing and consumer research. These can contribute to successful product development. To put things in motion new products need to be positioned in such a way that customers understand and appreciate the benefits of the product.

We have an ambitious team aiming to create a car that brings a “wow, I definitely want that car” effect. This makes it easier to show the benefits delivered by our car to our partners and eventually to the world!

Right now I am no longer nervous to make a phone call. It rather feels like I have the privilege to be in contact with our partners and supporters to expand our community every week. I am looking forward to all the companies we are about to meet in the coming months!

In November Stella attended the COP22 Climate Change Conference in Marrakech. At the conference we had a stand together with our partner Ericsson on a beautiful location in the Moroccan sun. The local television was interested in our car as well and had a small interview with Tommie. It is good to see that Morocco is aware of the power of the sun and the availabilities to use it. Covered with a layer of dust, Stella returned safely to our office!


On Thursday the 24th of November we announced our new gold partnership with Eneco. It was an exciting day with a lot of media attention. Our news was published in various newspapers including Trouw, Eindhovens Dagblad, Algemeen Dagblad and Rotterdams Dagblad, as well as magazines like Energeia and on many online websites!


For the announcement we made a fun movie together with Helga van Leur, the weather woman of RTL Nieuws, and Bright.

For the announcement we made a fun movie together with Helga van Leur, the weather woman of RTL Nieuws, and Bright. You can watch it here. In collaboration with our other partners we can create an ecosystem which will push innovations forward. Now that the contract is signed, we can start working together on creating the family car of the future. We look forward to an innovative and successful partnership!

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