Solar-powered truck to climb world’s highest volcano

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 6, 2023

Logistics company Gebrüder Weiss is the official partner of the Peak Evolution Team. Together, they want to move a solar-powered truck to an altitude of 6893m in the Chilean Andes, which would be a world record.

The three men from Switzerland forming the Peak Evolution Team want to conquer the summit of Ojos del Salado, the highest active volcano on earth, using their solar-powered truck specifically developed for this purpose.

The solar-powered multi-purpose vehicle has more traction capacity than an average 40-tonne semi-truck and could be used especially in rough terrain.

For nearly four years, the three Swiss developers, David Pröschel, Patrik and David Koller, have been working on putting the multi-purpose truck into practice. By embarking on an expedition to a place that no vehicle has ever reached, they want to prove the efficiency of alternative drive technologies.

“Our vehicle makes it possible to perform even the most demanding transport tasks, whether in mining or when erecting high-altitude solar power plants, in an environmentally compatible and economically efficient manner. The expedition is going to show the commercial viability of the product we developed,” says Patrik Koller, head of finance and co-developer of the Peak Evolution Team.

“Due to its limited payload capacity, this solar-powered vehicle cannot yet replace a conventional truck, but it shows a completely new direction in which we will be able to move with alternative drives in the future,” says Frank Haas, head of corporate brand strategy and communications at Gebrüder Weiss.

The transport requires comprehensive expertise and flexibility: since electrically powered vehicles are considered hazardous goods, the specialists of the international transport company developed a double container floor that secures the expedition equipment and allows to disconnect the battery. In addition, extensive documentation must meet the strict safety and customs requirements while at sea and in the country of destination.

The daring mission will be accompanied by a documentary film team headed by award-winning Swiss filmmaker Claudio von Planta.