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PPG partners with Dutch University to Develop World’s First Off-road Solar Car

PPG partners with Dutch University to Develop World’s First Off-road Solar Car

Stella Terra Worlds first Solar off-road car
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Stella Terra vehicle will use PPG CORACHAR fire protection coatings

PPG announced a partnership with a student organization from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands to develop the Stella Terra, believed to be the world’s first off-road car powered by the energy of the sun, making it independent of charging stations and paved roads.

As part of its recent $5 million commitment to environmental sustainability education, PPG is providing a grant of $37,000 (35,000 euros) to the Solar Team Eindhoven. The company is also supplying its PPG CORACHAR™ fire protection coating to protect the vehicle’s lithium (Li)-ion battery pack. The Stella Terra has been designed to withstand the harsh conditions of off-roading, and in October the team will depart for Morocco, where it will undergo extensive testing, including in the Sahara desert.

“A risk of Li-ion batteries is that they can experience thermal runaway,” said Wisse Bos, team manager of Solar Team Eindhoven. “While the probability of this failure occurring is rather slim, we decided to partner with PPG to minimize the effects of such a severe accident. PPG’s cutting-edge innovations on battery coatings make it possible for Terra’s drivers and its surroundings to evacuate in a worst-case scenario by stalling the spread of a battery fire.”

Related Article: PPG, PPG Foundation to Invest $5 Million in Environmental Sustainability Education

PPG CoraChar battery fire protection coatings are intumescent – they expand in the presence of high heat or fire – to provide an insulating layer to protect from thermal damage. The coatings cover a wide range of applications and leverage PPG’s experience with industrial and commercial fire protection, improve light-weighting, increasing battery performance, and supporting passenger and first-responder safety in case of a fire.

“The project supports PPG’s goals of developing sustainably advantaged technologies and supporting sustainability education,” said Thierry Destruhaut, PPG customer sustainability business partner, Automotive OEM Coatings. “Through this investment, we aim to support educational activities related to clean energy and the future of mobility and help prepare the next generation of leaders to understand the impacts of climate change.”

PPG’s global community engagement efforts and the PPG Foundation aim to bring color and brightness to PPG communities around the world. We invested $16.2 million in 2022, supporting hundreds of organizations across more than 35 countries. By investing in educational opportunities, we help grow today’s skilled workforce and develop tomorrow’s innovators in fields related to coatings and manufacturing. Plus, we empower PPG employees to multiply their impact for causes that are important to them by supporting their volunteer efforts and charitable giving.


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