Drivetrain Engineer

While the battery and solar panel are focused around harvesting and maintaining as much energy as possible, the drivetrain transforms this energy into the driving force of the solar car. The efficiency of this subsystem is incredibly important as it is directly linked to the speed that can be achieved for the incoming solar power.

The drivetrain is fully in-house developed by Solar Team Twente, enabling it to be completely integrated into the solar car and tuned to the other electrical subsystems. It starts with our own motor controller (MCU), the most efficient MCU for solar cars in the world. This device nicknamed ‘Jasmine’ converts the energy from the battery and solar panel into 3-phase power. This is used by the in-wheel electromotor that has been in constant development for over ten years, resulting in a state of the art system that can make the solar car drive at highway speeds using the same power used to make a grilled sandwich.

Developing the electromotor is a multidisciplinary challenge, consisting of aspects in various fields such as electromagnetism, mechanical loads and bearings, thermodynamics, power electronics or automating design processes using software. Even aerodynamics can play a role! You can approach the drivetrain from all kinds of angles and you will certainly be greeted by a broadening experience.

As a drivetrain engineer, it will be your job to create tests for researching the drivetrain, design possible improvements or new versions and then build this with your own hands! To do this you will be able to build upon the extensive knowledge and experience acquired throughout the years of Solar Team Twente. In order to research the losses of the electromotor or motor controller you will be able to use our own motor test bench, where all kinds of situations can be simulated in a controlled environment without having to hit the road. The R&D and even strategic possibilities are endless with this test setup.

You will closely work together with the rest of the Electrical Team to incorporate the drivetrain into the complete electrical system, while also receiving advice and help from mechanical engineers for the production of various motor parts that have to fit within a small solar car wheel.

Are you curious, do you have any questions, or do you just want to know more about this position? Send your question(s) to and we will get back to you as soon as possible!