Lightyear One Is a Solar-Powered Electric Car With Ridiculous Range
The world’s first long-range solar production car is here.
A new Dutch car company just revealed a solar-powered electric prototype with a range that aims to blow away that of every other all-electric vehicle on the market.
Aside from having a pretty cool name, the so-called “Lightyear One” packs a ton of tech designed to maximize driving efficiency.
The hood and roof are embedded with five square meters of integrated solar cells that charge the vehicle whenever it’s under the sun. They’re protected by a durable safety glass that’s “so strong that a fully grown adult can walk on them without causing dents.”
Similar to the radical, methanol-powered EV we wrote about earlier this year, the Lightyear One is propelled by four motors—one in each wheel. Lightyear says this cuts down on weight, improves control, and, most importantly, cuts back on the energy loss sustained in regular drivetrains.
The shell’s supercar-like lines are for more than just looks. Lightyear makes the lofty claim that the vehicle has the best aerodynamic drag coefficient of anything on the market, which further increases range, as does the extensive use of lightweight materials like carbon fiber and aluminum throughout the car’s construction.
All of this clever engineering results in a maximum range of nearly 500 miles (800 kilometers). For comparison’s sake, that’s 130 miles farther than Tesla Model S, which currently is the range-leading EV on the market, according to Kelly Blue Book.
“Research has shown that range and the lack of charging options are still the top concerns that people have when considering purchasing electric cars.”
It’ll also be able to hit 100 mph in a sporty ten seconds, and there’s room inside for five adults. Early renderings show a super-clean, minimalist interior with a touchscreen at the center of the dash.
Prices will start at around $135,000 (€119,000) when the Lightyear One arrives in 2021. Visit the company’s website to for more info.