Lightyear, a company founded by former engineering students who won the World Solar Challenge in 2016, has unveiled Lightyear One, the prototype of a solar car that amazes for features.
Lightyear One, a 5-seater sedan that counts on 4 independent electric motors inserted in the wheels, can be booked for the launch scheduled for 2021.
A sporty and elegant vehicle that has an amazing feature: 725km of autonomy.
It is a range that puts the car far ahead of Tesla for autonomy, relying on the help of panels on both the roof and the front hood. In fact Lightyear One is an electric car with a photovoltaic "help".
The extent of this solar support varies naturally depending on the context. For example, a Dutch customer will be able to count on a good 40% of energy from the sun. Others, according to the company, can satisfy 100% of the car's energy needs with only solar panels. I believe it? More no than yes.
Yes and no. While with the quick charge Lightyear One can get 570km of autonomy in an hour, its solar panels can increase the autonomy of "only" 12km for each hour of exposure. It is clear that keeping the car around only with solar energy is possible, but not for long and driving very slowly. Unless you are Aran Banjo, for those who remember the genre: but at that point with the sun you do what you want.
The panels will however be very useful in case of low battery, allowing that extra bit of autonomy to find the closest charging point.
The painful notes
Lightyear One has a starting price of € 149,000, with a monthly lease of around € 1900.