The team at 6,500 meters – a new world record for e-vehicles. (Photo credits @ Gebrüder Weiss / Anna Pocinska)

Swiss developers drive solar-powered truck 6,500 metres uphill

The Gebrüder Weiss Peak Evolution Team has set a new world altitude record for e-vehicles at 6,500 meters above sea level. They drove up to the western ridge of Ojos del Salado in Chile – the highest active volcano on earth – in their truck powered exclusively by solar energy.

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Never has an e-vehicle been driven so high.

“This is a record not only for this technology, but for our years of research work and for the very future of mobility,” says Patrik Koller, CEO, and developer at Peak Evolution. “We hope that this success will attract more attention to alternative drives and their use in mining and other demanding transport tasks.”

Logistics partner and main sponsor Gebrüder Weiss has been on board since the very beginning. Not only did the company ensure the vehicle arrived safely in South America, but it also co-financed the innovative venture.

“As the oldest transport and logistics company, we are committed to the future of mobility,” says Frank Haas, Head of Corporate Brand Strategy & Communications at Gebrüder Weiss. “This success underlines our ongoing support for sustainable mobility projects and innovative technologies. We are delighted for the team and will now bring the record-breaking vehicle safely back to Switzerland.”

“Terren” got the team up to 6,500 meters using nothing but the power of the sun. (Photo credits @ Gebrüder Weiss / Anna Pocinska)

The impressive undertaking began two months ago: Gebrüder Weiss transported the e-truck from Switzerland via Rotterdam and then by sea freight to Chile. Another overland transport took the solar truck to the Atacama region. The Peak Evolution team started at the Maricunga salt lake with the first exploratory tours and acclimatization on the mountain, at an elevation of 3,400 meters. The extreme terrain and environmental conditions of the world’s highest volcano not only put the high-tech vehicle to the test, but also put the team under extreme physical and mental strain. 

“Despite these extreme conditions, our specially developed vehicle managed to drive higher than any other e-vehicle – let alone a solar-powered one,” says Patrik Koller, CEO, and developer at Peak Evolution, summarizing the success. “We have been training for this moment for four years, so giving up was never an option.”

Acclimatization – for people and vehicles – in the Atacama region. (Photo credits @ Gebrüder Weiss / Anna Pocinska)

The three adventurers reached the first milestone at the end of November, breaking the record for e-vehicles by surpassing the 6,000-meter barrier. One week later, they reached 6,500 meters above sea level – the record height of their mission. They reached the western ridge of Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano on earth, using nothing but solar power. With the world record in the bag, the Peak Evolution team is now heading back to Switzerland, with Gebrüder Weiss ensuring that the record-breaking vehicle also makes it safely back to Europe. 

The solar-powered e-truck from the three Swiss developers defies even the most adverse conditions. (Photo credits @ Gebrüder Weiss / Anna Pocinska)


 

Cover photo credits @ Gebrüder Weiss / Anna Pocinska

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