TERREN Electric Truck to Attempt High Altitude World Record on a Volcano

DDP Innnovation GmbH has unveiled the TERREN electric truck which is set to embark on a solar-powered expedition to challenge the altitude world record for a vehicle at height.

It has dubbed the project Peak Evolution and is sponsored by 3A Composites Mobility, Ecovolta, Bosch, Sika, VDS, Studer Innotec, Megasol Energie and Kyburz Switzerland.

The current world record was set by two Mercedes-Benz Unimogs type U 5023 that reached a height of 6694 meters in 2019.

The team involved in the Peak Evolution expedition is hoping its TERREN electric truck will surpass this altitude by travelling to the summit of the Andean volcano Ojos del Salado at 6893 meters using nothing but solar power.

TERREN electric vehicle
The TERREN vehicle was specially designed for the world record expedition to the summit of the world’s highest volcano

Ojos del Salado is located in eastern Chile on the border with Argentina and is the highest mountain in Chile. To reach the summit, the TERREN will have to withstand temperatures between -25 and over 40 degrees Celsius.

The Peak Evolution project has completed 4 years of planning, engineering, funding and construction to produce a vehicle capable of this challenge.

As Ojos del Salado is about 350 kilometres away from civilisation in the Atacama Desert, the crew will require storage space for 3 weeks of supplies.

The Final Element: The Storage Box for the TERREN

The final element of the manufacturing project was to construct the truck’s storage box, which was completed by 3A Composites Mobility, SIKA and Glas Trösch.

In the design brief, Peak Evolution identified that the storage box needed to be lightweight to successfully climb the mountain, stiff and sturdy to withstand the rough terrain, and well-insulated to provide shelter in the cold weather.

In addition, the storage box had to be compatible with roof-mounted solar panels that charge throughout the journey and have practical storage for the rest of the Megasol solar panels with an easy deploy mechanism.

TERREN electric vehicle
The box will be used for storage, as well as for the mobile solar power plant and as a shelter for the crew

It took 3A Composites three weeks to produce the storage box using super light and rigid composite panels that have a ‘sandwich’ structure and are glued together with extremely strong adhesives made by SIKA. The box openings are equipped by safety class from Glas Trösch.

Thanks to this technology, the box’s empty weight is less than 500kg.

Upon completion, Peak Evolution drove the TERREN electric truck to the 3A Composites site to add the box to the final product.

The Technology in the TERREN

Ecovolta has supplied the project with nine evoTraction Battery 100/10 battery packs and is the project’s official innovation partner.

The solar panels for the vehicle have been provided by Megasol. Four solar panels are roof-mounted, providing 8 square metres of charging area. A further 16 are provided that are to be laid on the ground for charging. These will add a further 28 square metres of charging area. Megasol says that a five-hour charge can deliver a range of 150km.

The TERREN’s two powerful 120kW motors are Bosch products. Together with the in-house collective gearbox, this is the heart of the vehicle.

The five solar chargers for the vehicle have come from Studer Innotec, which also provided the 230V AC inverter. Brusa meanwhile provided three DC/DC converters.

The Expedition

6500m up the Ojos del Salado
6500m up the Ojos del Salado

The team attempting to break the world record are set to leave the workshop in Switzerland in mid-October. By early December they aim to be at the Salar de Maricunga at 3700m to start their acclimatisation process. They will then make their summit push in January 2023. They expect to take five days from their camp at 5200m to reach the peak.

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