Two Italian researchers working on an EU-funded vehicle project have died after a prototype vehicle, a modified Volkswagen Polo, exploded during a test drive in Naples.

As reported by the Financial Times (FT), Maria Vittoria Prati, a distinguished scholar at Italy’s National Research Council (CNR), aged 66 and Fulvio Filace, a 25-year-old engineering student, were conducting on-road tests on a prototype created by Life-Save, an eco-friendly transportation initiative funded by the EU.

The project aimed to develop a cost-effective solution for converting “old combustion engine cars into solar-powered hybrids.”

The Life-Save project reportedly received approximately EUR 1.8m, between 2017 and 2023, from the EU’s Life program, according to the fund’s database.

Scientists had patented their technology and created the company eProInn.

eProlnn partnered with Italian solar panel manufacturer Solbian and various Italian automotive component producers to develop the prototype.

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By GlobalData