Brett Belan, Solar-Powered Vehicle Engineer

Name: Brett BelanBrett Belan Solar Powered Van

Occupation: Lead Engineer at Solarrolla

Place of Residence: Ashland, Oregon

Background:  Brett was born in Duluth, Minnesota. He grew up bow-hunting and fishing — and with a wrench in his hand. During his teenage years, he spent much of his time building cars and hot-rodding Camaros, Chevelles and a 1932 Chevrolet.

Brett received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering along with a second-degree black belt from Michigan Technological University. With a stint at Ford Motor Company and some time teaching CAD at Jaguar in England, he was ready to do his own thing. He started a band and grew his hair! After that, he spent about 10 years living off-grid in California before moving to Ashland, Oregon, and co-founded Apparent Energy, an engineering company dedicated to improving our electrical systems. In 2018, he started the solar-vehicle company Solarrolla.

He has spent his free time for the last couple years building a solar-powered electric Volkswagen bus. He removed the old gas engine, installed the new electric motor, built the battery box, and solar array rack. He and his wife, Kira, custom made the pop-up tent and camper features. During Summer 2016, Brett and Kira and their two kids traveled 1,400 miles, camping along the Oregon and California coasts.

Current Projects: Brett converted a 1973 VW bus into an electric, solar-powered vehicle and traveled the West Coast with his family in it. He is in the design phase of stage 2 on the electric van to improve and extend range and performance. He is lead engineer and co-founder of Apparent Energy, working to create more efficient components for electric vehicles.

More Places to Find Brett on the Web:

Solar-Electric VW Bus


Home Power magazine article “Rolling on Sunshine

Solar-Electric VW Bus on Facebook

@SolarElectricVWBus on Instagram


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