Solar-powered Lightyear 0 is now the world's most aerodynamic car

It achieved a drag coefficient of 0.175.
Loukia Papadopoulos
The Lightyear 0.jpg
The Lightyear 0.


In just a few months, Lightyear will bring its first solar EV to market. Perhaps that’s why it put its Lightyear 0 model through a series of drag-coefficient tests in Germany under Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) conditions, according to a report by Electrek published Wednesday.

The most aerodynamic production car ever built

The tests proved that the Lightyear 0 is the most aerodynamic production car ever built, a title long held by GM’s EV1 since the late ’90s. According to Lightyear, the 0’s latest drag coefficient (Cd) is 0.175, beating the GM EV1 (which performed at 0.19 Cd).

This number is also significantly lower than originally promised by the firm and, of course, lower than any Cd ever delivered by any other carmaker.

Lightyear’s chief technology officer Arjo van der Ham said in the press release announcing the new number: “We are extremely proud of this incredible achievement. We had to start from a blank sheet of paper when we started developing our technology and – with a lot of dedication and hard work – we continue to push the boundaries with every milestone like this.”

Now, the car will be able to boast that it is the “most aerodynamic” along with the “world’s first solar electric car.”

A car with many impressive features

Just last June of 2022, Lightyear unveiled the final production-ready design of the 0 during an online global premiere. Lightyear vowed a range of 450 miles on a single charge from its first vehicle; the prototype Lightyear 0 had delivered 441 miles.

Lightyear 0’s 60 kWh battery pack delivers 288 miles (625 km) of range on a single charge. Combined with solar power, the vehicle 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.

Solar-powered Lightyear 0 is now the world's most aerodynamic car
The Lightyear 0 is the world's first solar vehicle.

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.

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But perhaps by far its most impressive feature is its ability to charge from nearly anywhere. With Lightyear’s technology, any power outlet in the world can be used as a charging station. The vehicle can be charged at 20 miles (32 km) of range in an hour when plugged into a regular home socket.

Lightyear has promised to start the first deliveries of the car in November and there’s no doubt that its many positive qualities will make it a popular purchase. For now, Lightyear 0 is the most aerodynamic car but could it soon be the most sold? As adoption of electric vehicles across the world continues to grow, there is no doubt that the Lightyear 0 will be a strong contender.

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