Revolution in the Wheel Hub

The motor of the PowerCore SunCruiser contains pioneering new technology from the ThyssenKrupp labs. With this, the solar-powered vehicle is more than ready for the world championship in Australia.

They’ve been working on it tirelessly for months. Now comes the moment of truth ‘down under’. The students from Bochum University of Applied Sciences have already contributed five generations of solar vehicles to the World Solar Challenge. This October, they will again be competing in the 3,000-kilometer world championship race from Darwin to Adelaide with their new SunCruiser. It will be making a premiere with PowerCore, an electrical steel jointly developed by the experts at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe and ThyssenKrupp Electrical Steel.

For ThyssenKrupp, the project provides an opportunity to gain more expertise in electric mobility and energy efficiency. It’s on the right track: With its four wheels, three seats, and a trunk, the SunCruiser is almost ready for everyday use. Roof-mounted solar modules turn solar energy into electricity for the motors and the rechargeable battery. The energy can be distributed very efficiently thanks to the 0.3-millimeter PowerCore electrical steel. “Using electrical steel in this kind of context is unheard-of,” says Stefan Spychalski, representative for the Solar Car project at Bochum University of Applied Sciences.

“Thanks to PowerCore, the motor has more torque and greater energy density,” explains Marco Tietz, Head of Application Technology for Non-Oriented Electrical Steel at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe. “What that means is lower power consumption, a lower battery load, and greater cruising range.” With advantages like these, chances in the race are rather good.