Netherlands-based Lightyear has unveiled the first production-ready solar-powered vehicle, the Lightyear 0. The car was previously known as the Lightyear One.
Its optimised solar roof means that the car can drive for weeks, even months, without charging.
The company says, in cloudy climates, based on the average commute of around 35 kilometres per day, owners can drive for up to two months without charging.
Plugged into a regular home socket, Lightyear 0 can still charge 32 kilometres of range per hour.
The new model is vegan and eco-friendly, featuring plant-based leather, fabrics made from recycled PET bottles and wooden deco elements from sustainably-restructured rattan palm.
Lightyear 0’s outer body panels are also made from reclaimed carbon; residual carbon fibre materials that would otherwise go to waste.
In June, 2021 the very first test drives will be offered. In autumn it will start-up production, with the first cars reaching their drivers in November.
Lex Hoefsloot, Lightyear Co-founder and CEO, says: “Electric cars are a step in the right direction, but they have a scaling problem. By 2030, we can expect 84 million electric vehicles (EVs) on roads in Europe alone.”
He adds: “There’s no hiding from it, access to charging stations will not keep up with the demand for electric cars. To minimise plug-charging and maximise range, the industry’s strategy, so far, has been to add batteries. That increases the carbon footprint of production and, in turn, boosts weight and the need for high-power charging stations.”
Since the beginning of 2021, Lightyear has raised over $110 million (€93 million) in investments.