Team INES – CEA – Lionel Serra

– 51 years-old –

Lionel is from Savoy where he also works for the National Institute for Solar Energy (INES), one of the historic partners of the Sun Trip.

Passionate about all forms of solar mobility, he drove many solar car prototypes on famous races such as the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge (2015) and the Moroccan Solar Challenge (2016).

But this time, it’s with a solar and human powered vehicle that Lionel will ride towards Canton, on a solar trike prototype fitted with ultralight solar panels designed by his own colleagues!

Official Team


The National Institute for Solar Energy  (INES, or the Department of Solar Technologies of the CEA) is the reference in France and one of the first center in Europe dedicated to research, innovation and training on solar energy.

Initiated by the General Council of Savoie and the Rhône-Alpes Region, INES brings together the CEA and the University of Savoie teams and employs today 400 people on a 22,000 m² site with the best equipment.

The Research & Innovation Platform run by the CEA also brings together University of Savoie laboratories and works in close collaboration with the industry. Its activities span the full value chain, from materials and components to their applications: solar technologies, electricity, solar mobility and energy efficient buildings. It is at the heart of a French and international network.

INES – Official website     &        CEA – Official website

Charity – Em-Project

I pedal for Em-project, an association which works for the development of electro-solar mobility.

Official website

His Solar Bike

It’s basically a HP Velotechnik Scorpion FX recumbent trike, to be on the comfort side. I added a mid-drive engine, a recycled battery, telescopic posts to support the solar panels and orient them, a modified trailer for more solar panels…

The array are assembled at INES.

A Few Words From The Adventurer…

Even being over 50, I still have dreams in my head and stars in my eyes. My eternal optimism and pragmatism give me a morale of steel and wings (and calves) to meet the Sun Trip challenge.

After having gathered, coached and encouraged teams participating in solar car races, I want to take the wheel, well, this time the handlebars… Already two Sun Trips have come before my eyes, now is the perfect opportunity to get started.

 The Sun Trip is the perfect opportunity to defend values of another mobility, and demonstrate that solar energy can make vehicles move forward. And far! 🙂

What makes me pedal:

  • To defend the values of alternative mobility
  • To test my adaptability in electronics, mechatronics, energy systems …
  • … and also for the guy, for physical and moral fitness
  • And above all, the large open spaces, meeting people… and be deserving with my efforts!

An adventure with my core values: alternative, clean and gentle mobility

 Those who cross my path quickly learn that many associations, companies, builders and research centers, think about electro-solar mobility. 

One of my dreams is electro-solar mobility development. I have spent a big part of my life working on it:

  • I work at the INES (National Institute of Solar Energy) and am a battery specialist
  • In 2014, I created and still chair the Em-Project association
  • I supervised and supported many university projects in the field of electro solar vehicles
  • I created an electric motorcycle with Chambéry high school students
  • I participated in the organization of the Savoie Technolac Solar Event from 2008 to 2014
  • I have participated in many electro-solar vehicles races with the sunracer that I co-built or with the Eco Solar Breizh Team: Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Egypt, France, etc.
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