A little-known Dutch startup called Lightyear just unveiled plans for a solar-powered electric car with a 500-mile driving range. The Lightyear One features a four-wheel drive powertrain that can handle rough terrain – and thanks to its solar panels, it can drive for months without having to be charged.
“You can think of the Lightyear One as being as an electric car redesigned from the ground up to combine the best of solar cars and electric cars.”, says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear. “It’s a revolutionary step forward in electric mobility because we are able to combine a great look with extreme efficiency. This first model makes science fiction become reality: cars powered using just the sun”.
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The solar-powered Lightyear One can travel up to 500 miles on a single charge. Other automakers have unveiled electric cars with solar panels on the roof, but none of them have been able to propel a car as far as Lightyear’s new vehicle.
The integrated solar cells on the roof of the Lightyear One will generate enough energy to recharge the battery during the day, rendering charging virtually unnecessary. In sunny climates, the car can drive for months without charging, but if you need to travel further, you can also charge it using a standard power socket.
Since the Lightyear One doesn’t need to rely heavily on charging infrastructure, the solar-powered car is a new option for drivers that don’t have access to a charger. “The Lightyear One is a statement to show that electric cars are ready for every corner of the planet”, Hoefsloot says. “It is the first step in our mission to make electric cars available for everyone”.
The Lightyear One will be unveiled in early 2018, with the first deliveries in the United States and Europe expected to arrive in 2019. Pricing starts at 119,000 Euros, and reservations are already being taken on Lightyear’s website.
Inhabitat is not a site noted for rigorous thinking. It is a feel good website. I always feel good after reading one of their wishful thinking articles. Don't you?
You have more faith than I do in the powers that be letting that happen, see us code 35 usc 181--maybe you should talk to people who have had a government van haul away their lifes work because oil and gas control.
The statement "it can drive for months without having to be charged" is extremely misleading. To charge at 1.0 kW requires 12 to 13 square feet of solar cells (assuming they are the most efficient that money can buy). So, unless this car is as large as a tractor-trailer, it will never charge at more than 1.5 kW on any day. So yes, you can drive "without charging", but only if you drive the car once or twice a week -- at best.
Propaganda. Even at 99% efficiency you can't get more than a few miles with a whole day of charging in full bright sunlight