Dutch EV startup, Lightyear. shows off its revolutionary solar car that is big on range and small on the batteryby Khris Bharath, on LISTEN 03:25
Yet another EV Start-up in the Netherlands, Lightyear, intends to launch its very first car. The gimmick here is that it’s a car powered by Solar energy, and it’s said to be coming to Europe next year. The solar car can cover over 440 miles on a single charge thanks to solar modules that charge up the battery as you drive.
This really is the biggest number ever documented for an EV with such a tiny battery, according to the brand. Upwards of 200 employees at the company are working pretty hard to turn this undertaking into a reality. If you haven’t heard of Lightyear before, they’re a small Dutch startup established back in 2016. They deal exclusively in the development of solar-charged EVs.
The exterior of the Lightyear One is very striking to look at, with its sleek fastback form and aerodynamic design. There hasn’t been much information released about the car’s technical aspects, so the only thing we know for now is that it has a vast number of photovoltaic cells on its body panels and a modest 60 kWh battery pack.
"After four years of hard work and in-house development, this is a very important technical and technological milestone," said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear, in a press release. "It validates the performance of our patented technology and shows that we are able to deliver on our promise to bring the most efficient electric vehicle to market."
Solar power from your own solar system is amongst the most ecologically responsible, sustainable, and cost-effective ways to power your home and car. Because the battery is by far the most expensive component of an EV, a smaller battery significantly reduces the car’s retail price while still achieving long ranges.
On a bright and sunny day, the Lightyear One could easily accumulate approximately 45 miles of extra charge.
On a single charge, the battery can store 60 kWh. In theory, you could have an unlimited range, provided you live in a sunny place like Dubai, Texas, or Australia.
The prototype of the Lightyear One was assessed at Germany’s Aldenhoven Testing Center. The test included an evaluation of the output of the solar panels, battery performance, energy usage of the cooling system, internal wheel motor operation, and the software that controls the solar car. Other tests related to the homologation phase, such as safety ratings and an approved WLTP driving cycle test, are now pending, in addition to validating the vehicle’s technical performance.
When can we expect it?
Lightyear received a €40 million capital injection in March of this year. The launch, which was supposed to happen this year, has been pushed back to 2022 for the European Union, Norway, and Switzerland. According to the press release, the company intends to begin production in the first half of next year for an exclusive sequence of just 946 units. Before taxes, the solar car is estimated to cost a hefty sum of money, around €150,000 Euros or around $177,000 at current exchange rates.
|Range||725 km (WLTP)|
|Drive||All 4 independently controlled. Advanced torque vectoring.|
|Energy use||83 Wh/km (WLTP) - excluding HVAC|
|Acceleration||0 - 100 km/h in less than 10 seconds|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||5057 x 1898 x 1426 mm|
|Charging speeds||Amount of range in 1 hour charging|
Source: Light Year One