Lightyear One: World’s first solar car with a 450 miles range

Lightyear One: World's first solar car / Image: Lightyear
Lightyear One: World's first solar car / Image: Lightyear

The transportation sector generates the largest share (28.9 % in 2017 ) of greenhouse gas emissions – as per the statistics reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – which contribute to climate change. And this number will quickly increase if we sit still. Also, many countries are struggling to build the necessary infrastructure for electric cars. So what if we could cross the grid and create a car charged by the Sun?

In response, Lightyear, a Dutch company introduced the world’s first long-range solar car named “Lightyear One.” The car is entirely powered by the Sun with the help of a total of five square meters of integrated solar cells, which are properly placed under thick safety glass.

Long-range solar car:

Lightyear One is the lightweight, four-wheel drive, coupé-style four-door, which will offer an exceptional range of 725 kilometers (450 miles) on a relatively small battery. The vehicle was created by a former winner of the World Solar Challenge who claimed that the vehicle can reach up to 800 kilometers (497 miles) depending on driving practices and where you drive.

The roof and hood offer five square meters of integrated solar cells. / Image: Lightyear
The roof and hood offer five square meters of integrated solar cells. / Image: Lightyear

What if the Sun is not out? The company says you can also charge the car’s battery with up to 12 km of range every hour. The One can be charged from a conventional domestic 230V outlet, gaining up to 250 miles of range overnight. But the main draw is definitely the free solar charging.

Other features:

Lightyear One is propelled by four independently driven wheels, minimizing loss of energy throughout the drivetrain. Besides, the car is constructed from ultra-light high-tech materials which reduces strain on the battery’s output. Together, the roof and hood offer a staggering five square meters of integrated solar cells in safety glass so strong that a fully-grown adult can walk on them without causing dents.

Long range solar car interior
Long range solar car interior

Along with all these amazing features, the unique car includes wireless doors, cameras as opposed to traditional side mirrors, and a minimalistic interior with a touchscreen control panel on the dashboard.

The main goal of the car is to fill in where electric cars fall short. Research has shown that range and the lack of charging options are still the top concerns that people have when considering purchasing electric cars,” said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear.

Pricing:

The car will have an initial “Pioneer Edition” run of its first 500 vehicles with a price tag of €149,000 (approximately $170,000) with a reservation payment of €119,000 (around $135,000). Meanwhile, the regular Lightyear One will ship later in mid-2021, with an initial downpayment of €19,000 (roughly $21,000 USD). Later edition – slated for 2022 and onward – will require a dramatically cheaper €4,000 (roughly $4,500) reservation fee instead. Still, Lightyear One is a very expensive ride for everyone.

Yet, we must say at least one company is taking solar seriously at the moment and it could prove useful to our planet and society. For more details, visit the company website.