What about when you discover that a car generates its own energy to move the vehicle while being driven under sun. You will undoubtedly think of the situation as being exceedingly unusual. But this unbelievable situation will really take place in the upcoming days.
This is the future happening now – cars powered by the sun. A bright, innovative era is dawning for electric vehicles and solar electric vehicles are at its forefront.
The Dutch EV start-up Lightyear has unveiled its $263,000 first-ever solar-powered car, Lightyear 0. Lightyear’s approach is a practical way of transitioning from a pure battery-powered car to a hybrid solar battery-powered source which makes this case quite appealing. The company promises that this car can be driven for seven months without charge. The vehicle is named Lightyear 0, which is one of its first kind and charges automatically when exposed to sunlight. The sunroof is equipped with integrated solar cells that absorb light. According to the firm, Lightyear 0 is also the most aerodynamic production vehicle ever built so far. The Lightyear 0 will have curved solar panels in its roof, hood, and trunk to allow the electric battery to be topped up as it drives, or parked.
This new innovation has reliable specifications which bring an element of competition to other car manufacturers, including being able to drive the car around 388 miles without stopping to recharge where 44 miles of which are derived from solar power alone – which is slightly more than a Tesla model which does 374 and significantly more than Kia Niro long range at 285.
Lightyear 0 solar car enters production at Valmet Automotive’s facility in Finland at a rate of one car per week. This first batch of Lightyear 0s is rolling through assembly lines in preparation for their time in the sun. Lightyear takes pride in becoming the first automotive company to manufacture an electric vehicle that generates power directly from sunlight. It has taken the start-up six years to develop its own research and development technologies to reach this stage and finally enter the market with new solar technology. The start-up also plans to launch much more affordable solar electric vehicles with much smaller batteries by 2025.
This novel concept appears to be quite appealing at a time when many electric car manufacturers are increasing the number of batteries in order to increase range. Lightyear uses a different approach, attempting to harness solar energy in order to extend its range while consuming fewer batteries. This is an achievement of the automobile industry in bringing true solar mobility which clearly proves “building prototypes are easy, but production is hard”.