The Lightyear One – a prototype of the first long-range solar car – has been unveiled by Lightyear, a Dutch pioneer in clean mobility.
It’s a 4-wheel drive car is designed to go for long periods without cable-charging. The company says the battery has a range of 600-800 kilometers and the car can be charged two or three times faster than any other electric car on the market.
“This moment represents a new era of driving,” says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear.
“Two years of dreaming, thinking and working hard have led to this milestone, which is a giant leap towards achieving our mission of making clean mobility available to everyone.”
The roof and hood are comprised of five square meters of integrated solar cells in safety glass so strong that a fully-grown adult can walk on them without causing dents.
In addition to solar power, Lightyear One can be charged at a (fast)charging station or even a regular outlet
The first models will be delivered in 2020.
According to Hoefsloot, this is just the beginning. “The next models we plan to develop will have a significantly lower purchase price. In addition, future models will be provided to autonomous and shared car fleets, so the purchase price can be divided amongst a large group of users. Combined with the low operating costs of the vehicle, we aim to provide premium mobility for a low price per kilometer.”
He adds: “A third, final step will be to provide truly sustainable cars that are more affordable to use than the cost of gas you need to drive a combustion car. This will prove to be our most important tipping point in the near future, and it will pave the way for a car fleet that is one hundred percent sustainable.”
Lightyear was founded in 2016 by five members of the team who developed Stella, the world’s first solar-powered four-seater. It has raised 15 million euros and has opened its own production facility in the Netherlands.
The company says – within ten years – it’s goal is to deliver cars with very low operating costs and long lifetime so the usage cost per km becomes extremely low.