Electric cars are being unveiled every other day now but the major challenge remains their change. That too may be a thing of the past. Lightyear, a company developing solar electric cars, has revealed their first production-ready vehicle, the Lightyear 0. The vehicle uses both solar and electric energy to run the powertrain which, the company claims, has boosted the range of the vehicle beyond 1000 kilometres.
“After six years of R&D, design, engineering, prototyping, and testing, this premier solar car is slated to go into production this fall,” read the official statement. “In 2016, we only had an idea; three years later, we had a prototype. Now, after six years of testing, iterating, re(designing), and countless obstacles, Lightyear 0 is proof that the impossible is actually possible,” said Lightyear CEO Lex Hoefsloot.
The production-ready, solar-electric vehicle features double curved solar arrays that span across the area of five metres squared on the roof that help the car absorb energy from the sun.
Lightyear says the car can run up to 7 months without needing to plug into a charger, given that the climate in the area is sunny and the commute is up to roughly 35 kilometres. While in areas with less sunlight, for instance, the Netherlands, the company says it would run for 2 months.
Apart from the solar panels, the car also uses power from the four in-wheel motors that offer a range of 625 kilometres on a single charge. If driven at highway speeds ( around 110 kilometres per hour), the car can still manage to drive for 560 kilometres, if fully charged. Another factor contributing to the the marvellous performance is the “record-breaking” drag coefficient of 0.19 which makes the Lightyear 0, one of the most aerodynamic family cars ever built.
According to the company, the Lightyear 0 will be manufactured at a cost of €250,000, or roughly Rs 2 crore, following which, the company will start the production for the next model of Lightyear that will have a much accessible price of €30,000, or roughly Rs 27 lakh.