SolarCar Bochum: Around the world with the sun

Students of the Hochschule Bochum – Bochum University of Applied Sciences have been working on the development of autonomously powered solar vehicles for more than 15 years. With the support of a large number of sponsors, the technology and efficiency of the prototypes are continuously being improved. The solar cars from NRW have achieved international acclaim with a round-the-world tour and successful participation in global competitions.

As the only SolarCar manufacturer in Germany, the 30-member team from the Bochum University of Applied Sciences is developing a new model every two years. As a result, the efficiency and practicality of the solar vehicles are constantly being improved. And with success: In 2012, the SolarWorld Gran Turismo was able to gain entry into the Guinness Book of Records with a complete circumnavigation of the world. It covered a distance of almost 30,000 kilometres in 168 days of driving.

Engine for progress:

  • long-term prospects for e-mobility
  • interdisciplinary and regional collaboration
  • symbolic force and international recognition
  • strengthening NRW as a solar research and electromobility location
  • financially supported by research partners and sponsors

1 of 10

Photo: Hochschule Bochum

The PowerCore SunCruiser finished the World Solar Challenge (WSC) 2013 in Australia without a single breakdown. And the solar vehicle gained second place in the race.

The battery of the current vehicles is powered by energy from the sun through the solar panels on the roof, but as an alternative it can also be charged through a standard electric plug socket. Thus, a range of up to 700 km (simulated at 65 kph) is possible. The SolarCars have a top speed of over 110 kph, and the last two models are even certified in Germany as street legal.

Sustainable production process is goal of next stage

As the next milestone, the Bochum team is seeking to make the production and reutilisation process more sustainable, where consideration of the vehicle over the entire life cycle, from "cradle to grave", will make it even more climate friendly: One more reason for KlimaExpo.NRW to include the research project in the list of qualified projects.

The development of solar cars powered completely by solar energy gives an important impetus for the development of electric mobility. The qualification of young engineers in this innovative environment is a success model of Bochum University of Applied Sciences. Through the successful collaboration between research and businesses, the Bochum SolarCar project strengthens the professional and technical knowledge of the location of North Rhine-Westphalia in this field.

Photo: SolarCar Bochum

"The award by KlimaExpo.NRW is especially pleasing. The exceptional commitment of all involved in the project, in particular the students who actually designed and built the SolarCars have earned this award."

Prof. Dr. Friedbert Pautzke, professor of electrical mobility at Bochum University of Applied Sciences and initiator of the SolarCar Project

Partners and sponsors

  • Hochschule Bochum
  • ThyssenKrupp AG