A new solar panel? The Lightyear 0 has been revealed

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Solar electric vehicle startup Lightyear, from the Netherlands, has unveiled the final production-ready design of its solar electric vehicle (SEV) Lightyear 0 during an online global premiere.

The company has promised to start the first deliveries in November.

Lightyear has also vowed a range of 450 miles on a single charge from its first vehicle; the prototype Lightyear 0 had delivered 441 miles, according to the company.

With Lightyear’s technology, any power outlet in the world can be used as a charging station. The vehicle can be charged 20 miles (32 km) of range in an hour when plugged into a regular home socket.

Lightyear 0’s 60 kWh battery pack delivers 288 miles (625 km) of range on a single charge. Combined with solar power, the Lightyear One can offer drivers up to 432 miles (695 km).

This solar technology can provide an additional 44 miles (70 km) of range per day and up to 6,835 miles (11,000 km) per year.

Using the Sun as a power source, Lightyear 0’s optimized solar roof and holistic design enable the vehicle to drive for weeks, even months, without charging.

In cloudy climates, based on the average commute of around 21 miles (35 km) per day, the five square meters of double-curved solar panels on Lightyear 0 can charge the vehicle for up to two months of usage before charging again. In sunnier countries, the company claims that the time frame could be up to seven months. 

"Charging stations can't keep up with the demand"

Lex Hoefsloot, Co-founder and CEO of Lightyear, pointed out that the automotive industry needs to change its course and explained, “electric cars are a step in the right direction, but they have a scaling problem. By 2030, we can expect 84 million electric vehicles on roads in Europe alone."

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“There’s no hiding from it, access to charging stations will not keep up with the demand for electric cars. To minimize plug-charging and maximize range, the industry’s strategy, so far, has been to add batteries. That increases the carbon footprint of production and, in turn, boosts weight and the need for high-power charging stations. Our strategy flips that approach. Lightyear 0 delivers more range with less battery, reducing weight and CO₂ emissions per vehicle,” Hoefsloot continued.

The only bad news about Lightyear 0 is its price tag, starting at $265,000. However, the high price can be compensated by its solar panels.

Let’s wait until fall and see those solar panels in action.

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