This sleek, solar-powered concept auto features 450 miles of range

Marco Green
June 27, 2019

The Lightyear One is a luxury saloon.

The vehicle is powered by independent motors on each of the car's four wheels, providing four-wheel drive, and maximising the amount of energy used by the auto that is used to propel the auto forwards.

That's why the car's roof and hood are made of five square meters of safety glass solar cells. That's because it doesn't have to be as large, what with the solar panels recharging it all the time.

"The main goal of the vehicle is to fill in where electric cars fall short", Lex Hoefsloot, head of Lightyear, said in a statement.

Since the vehicle has such low energy consumption, it can generate power using solar energy. Fortunately, those long summer days will give you a lot more, like 52km. So effectively, you charge a lot faster from any power outlet. In particular, Lightyear says owners will be able to get up to 249 miles (400 km) of range by charging the vehicle overnight with an ordinary 230V socket. "That's great for road trips because you don't need charging infrastructure". For the next generation of vehicles, Lightyear will target autonomous and shared auto fleets in order to spread the cost around. The first 100 cars have already been reserved. Via the Lightyear website, buyers can now reserve one of the 500 Lightyear Ones for a reservation fee of €119,000 (expected delivery in 2021).

So far, Lightyear has racked up 100 pre-orders.

"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".

Next, the One will extend its electric range through the use of lightweight materials, sleek design and, perhaps most importantly for our purposes, with solar panels. Drivers could go up to 20,000 kilometers a year on the sun, depending on the climate. "With Lightyear One, we want to show that our technology enabled us to build one of the most sustainable cars on the market", revealed Hoefsloot.

Lightyear has attracted engineering expertise from major European automotive companies, including former employees of Ferrari and Jaguar, growing to a design team of over 130 staff. They were awarded CES Climate Change Innovator, Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Finalist, and, recently, Lightyear received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 848620. While there are electric auto startups cropping up all the time, the Lightyear One is being pitched as a long-range solar-powered vehicle.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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