Back in 2013, a group of students from the Eindhoven University of Technology built a solar-powered car for the World Solar Challenge race held in Australia.

Called Stella, the Dutch vehicle was built to somewhat resemble a conventional family car.

Now the group--known as Solar Team Eindhoven--is back with an improved car. Just like the previous version, the students claim it produces more energy than it uses.

ALSO SEE: Entrant In World Solar Car Challenge Is 'Family Sedan,' Sort Of (Jul 2013)

Called Stella Lux, the new vehicle can seat four and has a range of up to 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) on a fully-charged battery pack, according to ElectricAutosport.

The car gets its power from 381 individual solar cells, which feed a 15-kilowatt-hour battery pack.

Stella Lux can reach a top speed of 125 kph (77.6 mph), and discharge excess energy back into the grid--effectively making it a rolling source of renewable energy.

Stella Lux solar car

Stella Lux solar car

Solar Team Eindhoven will once again compete in the "Cruiser" class at the World Solar Challenge.

The class was created to encourage teams to build cars that more closely resemble the ones regular people actually drive.

MORE: Luminos Solar Electric Car For Australian Race Cruises At 55 MPH (Jul 2013)

In contrast to the tiny single-seat cars typically seen in solar-racing events, Cruiser-class entries must have seats for four--and even a trunk.

This car is still quite far from a conventional family sedan, of course, but it should at least make for a more comfortable ride across Australia.

Stella Lux solar car

Stella Lux solar car

The World Solar Challenge covers 3,000 km (1,864 miles) between Darwin and Adelaide.

Solar Team Eindhoven won its class there in 2013 with the original Stella, but hopes to go faster with the second-generation model.

CHECK OUT: University Of Michigan Solar Car Takes Sun Power To New Extremes (Jun 2013)

The 2015 World Solar Challenge kicks off in Australia October 18.

Following that, Solar Team Eindhoven plans to tour with the car in The Netherlands and China, and possibly the U.S. as well.


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