Solar Truck Conquers Ojos del Salado: A New Record for Electric Vehicles

Solar Truck Experiement Volcano
A Swiss team has successfully driven a modified Aebi VT450 transporter up the world's highest volcano, Ojos del Salado, in Chile. The incredible trek took the team four years of planning and preparation, and it has set a new benchmark for the capabilities of solar-powered vehicles.

Embracing the Challenge

Ojos del Salado, with its towering height of 21,396 feet (6,500 meters), presented a formidable challenge for the solar-powered truck. The thin air and extreme temperatures at the volcano’s summit made it essential to carefully select a vehicle and optimize its performance.

The team chose to modify the Aebi VT450 transporter, originally powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), for this challenging endeavor. Replacing the CNG engine with two electric motors, each producing 120 kW of power, significantly enhanced the vehicle’s efficiency and suitability for the high altitude.

Harnessing the Power of the Sun

To ensure a reliable power supply, the team incorporated a state-of-the-art solar panel system. Twenty solar panels, mounted on the truck’s roof and distributed along its sides, provided the necessary energy to drive the vehicle up the volcano. These panels, with a peak output of 370 watts each, collectively generated a total of 7.4 kWp.

Solarni Kamion Experiement Sopka

Photo: Solar truck on expedition in South America | photo: Peak Evolution

A Long Journey to the Summit

The expedition to Ojos del Salado was a demanding undertaking. The team faced numerous obstacles, including treacherous terrain, extreme weather conditions, and the thin air at high altitudes. Despite these challenges, the solar-powered truck persevered, reaching the volcano’s summit after a grueling journey of over 200 kilometers (124 miles).

A Triumph for Sustainable Transportation

The successful climb of Ojos del Salado by the solar-powered truck marks a significant milestone in the development of sustainable transportation. It demonstrates the potential of solar power to enable vehicles to operate in even the most challenging environments.

This achievement has garnered international attention, highlighting the growing interest in solar-powered vehicles and their ability to address environmental concerns while reducing reliance on fossil fuels. The success of this expedition serves as a powerful inspiration for those seeking innovative solutions to the challenges of sustainable mobility.

Source: Youtube

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