Ecologically very interesting: the Lightyear 0 solar car goes into production

Ecologically very interesting
The Lightyear 0 solar car goes into production

In recent years, electric vehicle startups have promised a lot but have rarely delivered. The Lightyear solar car project, on the other hand, appears to be getting to work. A Dutch startup now wants to go into series production with its idea.

There have been many electric car startups in recent years, but most of them haven’t grown beyond grandiose visions. The Lightyear solar sedan project, launched in 2016 by students from Eindhoven University of Technology, appears to be more promising, however, because the first model, the Lightyear 0, has now been presented in its final production equipment. Production of a small limited series of 946 units is expected to start in September and the first vehicles will be delivered to customers in November.

Lex Hoefsloot, founder and CEO of Lightyear, presents the production version of the Lightyear 0, the world’s first solar car.

(Photo: Light year)

The key data of the lighthouse project are impressive. It is a 5.08 meter long sedan that is characterized by an aerodynamic drag coefficient of just 0.19 thanks to a particularly aerodynamic outer skin. Together with a weight of 1575 kilograms, this guarantees efficiency gains. Despite an average battery of 60 kWh, the Lightyear 0 is expected to travel 625 kilometers on one battery charge. Consumption is 10.5 kWh per 100 kilometers. Consequently, the Stromer is also suitable for long-distance use. At a speed of 110, the range should still be 560 kilometers. With a stop for charging, electricity for 520 kilometers can be recharged in an hour, so a range of over 1000 kilometers is possible.

Five square meters of solar fields

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If the Lightyear 0 is in the sun, its integrated photovoltaic system supplies the traction battery with electricity.

(Photo: Light year)

This calculation does not include the potential contribution of the photovoltaic system integrated into the external skin. A total of five square meters of curved solar panels were integrated into the body. If the Lightyear is traveling on a sunny day, the onboard power plant can provide electricity for up to an additional 70 kilometers. Calculated over the course of the year, the solar yield should be sufficient for a mileage of 11,000 kilometers. Depending on the driving profile of course, the Lightyear offers the potential to produce electricity for day trips independently for months into the summer months. So the user may not have to go to a gas station for more than six months.

The Lightyear 0 is powered by a total of four engines capable of delivering a maximum power of 170hp and up to 1720Nm of torque. The sprint from standstill to 100km / h should last 10 seconds, with a top speed of 160km / h.

Interesting from an ecological point of view

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The Lightyear 0 offers a tidy interior with various displays.

(Photo: Light year)

The five-door offers five seats inside lined with sustainable materials, which should offer enough space for adult passengers. The trunk can hold up to 640 liters of luggage. Equipment includes automatic climate control, heated front seats from Recaro and a networked infotainment unit with 10.1-inch touchscreen, integrated navigation system and audio system. Also on board are assistance systems such as cruise control, rain sensors, speed limit detection and camera-based rear view mirrors.

The Lightyear 0 sounds like an interesting and future-oriented car, especially from an ecological point of view, but at € 250,000 it is quite expensive. But Lightyear is already planning an affordable successor model, which is expected to hit the market between late 2024 and early 2025 at a price of € 30,000.

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