‘Self-sustaining’ solar camper van can drive, cook and heat water using power of the sun

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Watch: Stella Vita is a fully sustainable camper powered by large solar panels

A revolutionary new solar camper van is powered entirely by the sun, with driving, cooking and showering all powered by solar panels on the roof. 

Designed by a team from the Technical University in the Dutch city of Eindhoven, the Stella Vita van took a test drive at a Renault building outside Paris this week. 

Lotte van Dasler, part of the team, said: “We call it a self-sustaining house on wheels. 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, a sustainable future.”

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

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The vehicle, designed by a team of students known as Solar Team Eindhoven, is making an 1,864-mile round tour of Europe.

Photo taken on Sept. 20, 2021 shows Stella Vita, a solar-powered recreational vehicle, in Brussels, Belgium.  Designed by the solar team of Eindhoven University of Technology, Stella Vita is equipped with solar panels on the roof, through which the vehicle generates enough energy to drive, shower, watch TV, charge, etc. By using energy efficiently, Stella Vita can travel up to 730 km on a sunny day. (Photo by Zhang Cheng/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Designed by the solar team of Eindhoven University of Technology, Stella Vita is equipped with solar panels on the roof (Photo by Zhang Cheng/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Photo taken on Sept. 20, 2021 shows Stella Vita, a solar-powered recreational vehicle, in Brussels, Belgium.  Designed by the solar team of Eindhoven University of Technology, Stella Vita is equipped with solar panels on the roof, through which the vehicle generates enough energy to drive, shower, watch TV, charge, etc. By using energy efficiently, Stella Vita can travel up to 730 km on a sunny day. (Photo by Zhang Cheng/Xinhua via Getty Images)
The vehicle generates enough energy to drive, shower, watch TV, charge devices and more. (Zhang Cheng/Xinhua via Getty Images)

It is capable of capturing enough energy from the sun to drive up to 453 miles on a sunny day – and has enough electricity for you to shower, watch TV and charge mobile devices. 

When parked, its roof slides up so additional solar panels can fold out and soak up more energy. 

Photo taken on Sept. 20, 2021 shows Stella Vita, a solar-powered recreational vehicle, in Brussels, Belgium.  Designed by the solar team of Eindhoven University of Technology, Stella Vita is equipped with solar panels on the roof, through which the vehicle generates enough energy to drive, shower, watch TV, charge, etc. By using energy efficiently, Stella Vita can travel up to 730 km on a sunny day. (Photo by Zhang Cheng/Xinhua via Getty Images)
The vehicle is on a tour of Europe. (Zhang Cheng/Xinhua via Getty Images)

The on-board information system shows just how much energy you use when you cook, take a shower or watch television.

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

It can travel at a top speed of 75mph and stores energy in a 60kwh battery, so it can also drive at night. 

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Solar Team Eindhoven said: “Stella Vita is our Self-Sustaining House On Wheels. A mobile home wherein you can live and work while travelling on the energy of the sun. 

“Stella Vita generates energy through its solar panels on the roof and uses this energy for both driving and living. 

“Stella Vita generates enough solar energy to drive, shower, watch TV, charge your laptop and make coffee. You are completely self-sustaining and independent. Hereby, you are free to go wherever you want, without harming the environment.”

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