Lightyear 0 is the world’s first solar electric car 

The Lightyear 0 can go up to two months on solar power without having to charge via a wall socket

The debate between batteries and hydrogen for the definitive fuel of the future heats up with every passing day. And now, we might have a new contender entering the race, which is a truly renewable resource. Man has managed to harness the power of the sun, and a Dutch company called Lightyear has applied that science to power cars and launch its first production-ready model called the Lightyear 0.

The Lightyear 0 will be the first solar-powered car to hit the streets. The company claims it to be a smarter solution than the existing BEVs facing a large-scale charging infrastructure challenge. Solar cells have been placed five square meters on the car’s roof and bonnet to aid battery recharge. Lightyear states these solar cells can add 70kms of driving range per day upon driving under the sun. 

The Lightyear 0’s silhouette resembles the one on the record-breaking Mercedes Benz Vision EQXX. Lightyear has bettered the German luxury car manufacturer in function by boasting a drag coefficient lower than 0.19cd, making it the most aerodynamic family car to date.

The Lightyear 0 will be powered by a four-motor setup, with one electric motor for each wheel. Performance figures have not been disclosed, but the 0 will carry a modest 60kWh battery pack, promising a 463km range. However, when combined with the charge procured by the onboard solar panels, that range extends to 695km. And as the solar car is bound to be driven daily, the solar panels should add enough juice every day that one can push the 0 for up to two months before plugging it into a wall socket charger.

The production of the Lightyear 0 is being carried out in alliance with Finland-based Valmet Automotive. The latter boasts a healthy decade of experience in EV production, with its resume already flaunting industry leaders like Mercedes Benz and Porsche. The initial production plan will see the firm produce one car weekly, with production being scaled higher by Q1 of 2023.

“Starting production of Lightyear 0, the first solar car, brings us a big step closer to our mission of clean mobility for everyone, everywhere,” said Lex Hoefsloot in the press release. “We may be the first to achieve this, but I certainly hope we aren’t the last.”

This brings us back to our original statement; the debate for the fuel of the future continues to heat up. With the Lightyear 0, it does so literally!

Among petrol, batteries, hydrogen and solar, which fuel source do you think would surpass the others. Comment below!

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