An Alternative to Finding a Charger!
It’s important to note this is not the first vehicle to incorporate solar panels into its framework to utilize renewable energy. I first wrote about a solar electric motorcycle/car hybrid called the Aptera here:
A Dutch company called Lightyear has introduced a Solar Electric Car that is receiving a large amount of buzz in the industry. This is an electric car with the potential to charge itself using renewable solar energy. Even more important, it is production-ready with the promise of vehicles rolling off the assembly line as early as this fall with deliveries before the end of the year.
What makes a solar-powered car so appealing is the threat of a world with a growing amount of electric vehicles and not enough chargers to keep them energized. Lightyear 0 shows us there is an alternate way while retaining the hybrid status of solar/electric.
A sustainable design was considered throughout the process as the interior is crafted using plant-derived leather. The fabrics comprise recycled PET bottles and restructured rattan palm, bringing a new definition to “all-natural.” The concept is further carried on with reclaimed carbon fiber materials used in the outer body panels of this vehicle.
This vehicle can also be a standard electric car with the ability to charge using any electrical outlet. Using a standard home outlet, you can attain 186 miles of range during an overnight charging session.
How about the solar portion? You can potentially gain 43 miles of range per day depending on the amount of sunlight. Expect those work commutes to the office during the summer to be solar-based. I would expect the winter months to be somewhat spotty as we tend to park in the garage in the northern states. On cloudy days, the solar charge comes closer to 20 miles of range.
Lightyear, the company behind the car, is still a relatively young company founded in 2016. They are a company comprised of 465 employees from 38 nationalities. The Lightyear 0 car underwent vigorous safety testing and design innovations six years in the making. With a drag coefficient of less than .19, it is highly aerodynamic. Lightyear’s goal was to make this vehicle use as little energy as possible to get the most range. This began with the body design at high speeds and continued with the in-wheel motors.
A few key features:
The vehicle will have a 10.1-inch touchscreen system
There will be no mirrors as these will be replaced with cameras (rear and side view)
The vehicle will seat 5 (no word on comfortability)
It will have ample trunk space
Now for the hard truth! This technological marvel will set you back upwards of $268,000, excluding tax and delivery charges. If you are an early adopter, this is the vehicle for you. I, for one, will take a wait-and-see approach.