Swedes set solar car record… on ice

Cosmos Magazine


Cosmos is a quarterly science magazine. We aim to inspire curiosity in ‘The Science of Everything’ and make the world of science accessible to everyone.

By Cosmos

A Swedish University has set an ice-speed record at an annual speed weekend using a solar-powered car.

Halmstad University’s solar car recorded an average speed of 105km/h over a single-kilometre course at an icefield near Årsunda, 200km north of the capital Stockholm.

Their entry was the only solar-powered vehicle in the field, and 1 of 2 electric vehicles among 133 entrants.

The ‘HUST’ vehicle recently competed in the World Solar Challenge in Australia – a 3,000km solar car race between Darwin and Adelaide. The monocoque ‘single seater’ vehicle is also built from recycled materials – including scrap metal – as an example of a vehicle that both generates power renewably and is constructed from reclaimed resources.

Being held in freezing, overcast conditions meant HUST needed to pre-charge its battery to complete the time trial. The group’s project manager Alma Ahlgren said the ice field test was intended to demonstrate EV capability on ice, as well as set a record.

“The main thing was to show that it [the car] actually works in this climate as well,” Ahlgren says.

“And to get that world record as the fastest solar-powered electric vehicle on ice, so we are really happy about that.

“The next challenge we’re planning is the Ilumen European Solar Challenge in Belgium this September, which is a 24h endurance race.”

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