Students from Eindhoven University of Technology taking part in this year’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia will be aiming to blaze a winning trail in a 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 km (621 miles) on one full battery. In addition to offering technical advice to the team, AkzoNobel’s Specialty Coatings business also provided a range of products, including sustainable primers, basecoats and clearcoats.
“Working with talented engineers and technicians is always a great experience, particularly when it involves a project which is so closely related to our own efforts to create a more sustainable future,” said Alberto Slikta, managing director of specialty coatings with AkzoNobel. “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.”
“Painting a solar car is not easy. AkzoNobel gave us lots of advice on how to do the job and which materials to use – and the end result looks fantastic,” said Beatrix Bos, public relations manager for Solar Team Eindhoven.
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.
However, it won’t be the first time 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 year, with the team claiming their sixth victory the last time the event was staged in 2015.
The solar race’s strong focus on sustainability also is reflected in several other ongoing partnerships, according to the company. 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 forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge takes place in October and involves traveling 3,000 km (1,864 miles) from Darwin to Adelaide. It will be the third time that Solar Team Eindhoven has competed in the event’s Cruiser class.