Swiss Solar Electric Truck Achieves Record-Breaking Ascent on World’s Highest Volcano

December 22, 2023
1 min read
The solar-powered e-truck from the three Swiss developers defies even the most adverse conditions. (Source Gebrüder Weiss Anna Pocinska)
The solar-powered e-truck from the three Swiss developers defies even the most adverse conditions. (Source Gebrüder Weiss Anna Pocinska)

The Gebruder Weiss Peak Evolution Team formed by Patrik, David and another David Pröschel can now be recognized in history books for using a solar-powered Electric Truck to ascend over 21,000 feet. In effect, this feat on the daunting Ojos del Salado, the world’s highest active volcano sets a new world altitude record for electric vehicles (EVs).

This Swiss team’s vehicle is a modified Aebi VT450 transporter with a dual motor 240-kW Terren electric drive that was developed together with Bosch as well as Eco-Volta. Each motor generates 120 kW and spins at up to 12,000 RPM. The Electric Truck has a heart of a 90 kWh Li-Ion battery which is provided with a nominal voltage of 300V designed to operate at high altitudes with an approximate range of about 200 km. As such, the battery’s design entails reduced nominal voltage from 400V to 300V which guarantee efficiency when the air is thin implying that electric resistance is lower.

Tires matter in tough terrains. Therefore, this team used special super Super Tacky Offroad tires measuring 42”. Equally important was the solar system. It contained five MPP trackers possessing highly effective solar panels with peak power of 10.7 kW as well as panel size being equal to 42 m2 used for charging in remote areas.

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From Switzerland, the expedition saw the vehicle shipped to Chile through Rotterdam. It is here that they acclimatized in Atacama region at Maricunga Salt Flat before they began their ascent. This journey tested not just the vehicle but the team’s physical and mental endurance.

According to Patrik Koller, CEO and developer at Peak Evolution, “this is a record not only for this technology but for our years of research work and for the very future of mobility.” In reflection upon how Gebrüder Weiss supported them Haas said, “As the oldest transport and logistics company, we are committed to the future of mobility.”

Gebrüder Weiss, who are logistic partners played a major role in safely delivering the vehicle in and out of South America. This unambiguous role underscores the importance of collaborative effort in pioneering projects.

This achievement showcases what EV technology can achieve under extreme conditions with regard to its application in industries like mining. The use of electric drive systems has taken a big leap forward with this move due to their robustness and efficiency proofing.

Rahul Somvanshi

Rahul, possessing a profound background in the creative industry, illuminates the unspoken, often confronting revelations and unpleasant subjects, navigating their complexities with a discerning eye. He perpetually questions, explores, and unveils the multifaceted impacts of change and transformation in our global landscape. As an experienced filmmaker and writer, he intricately delves into the realms of sustainability, design, flora and fauna, health, science and technology, mobility, and space, ceaselessly investigating the practical applications and transformative potentials of burgeoning developments.

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