EV startup Lightyear has been working to launch the world’s first solar car for the past six years for a more sustainable environment. Previously known as Lightyear One, the solar car is now called Lightyear 0 and is ready for production. Expected to be commercially available this November, the company promises up to seven months of travel without having to plug into a household outlet or charging station.
World’s First Solar Car Announced
According to the company, Lightyear 0 equips five square meters of patented double-curved solar arrays. This allows the vehicle to charge itself when you’re commuting or have parked the vehicle outdoors in the sunlight. The company says that the car is capable of powering itself with 70 kilometers of range per day in addition to its 625 kilometers WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure) range.
“In 2016, we only had an idea; three years later, we had a prototype. Now, after six years of testing, iterating, (re)designing, and countless obstacles, Lightyear 0 is proof that the impossible is actually possible,” says Lightyear’s Co-Founder and CEO Lex Hoefsloot.
Looking at the insides, the Lightyear 0’s four in-wheel motors use 10.5 kWh per 100 kilometers at 110km/h, making it one of the most efficient electric vehicles. At highway speeds of 110 km/hr, Lightyear 0 offers a range of 560 km on a single charge.
With a solar yield of up to 11,000 kilometers a year, Lightyear 0 owners can drive for months in summer. That’s assuming a daily commute of 35 kilometers. The range could vary from two months in relatively cold regions like the Netherlands to seven months in countries like Spain or Portugal.
It also has a sustainable design and comes with premium looks. Meant to provide comfort, the car has a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system and has vegan interiors.
Lightyear aims to produce 946 Lightyear 0 units at a cost of €250,000 (~$2,62,635). The company hopes to make its next model more accessible at a price point of €30,000 (~$31,516). Production of the second model will begin in late 2024 or early 2025.