It is a car that runs on free energy, but it is far from free.
The Lightyear 0 is an all-electric four-door equipped with an array of over 50 square feet of solar panels on its hood and roof that the Dutch startup says can generate up to 43 miles-worth of electricity per day. Production of the vehicle is now underway.
It is being built by in Finland by contract manufacturer Valmet, which has previously been responsible for a range of cars that include the Porsche Boxster and original Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid.
Several electric vehicles have been sold over the years with small solar panels, but none that provided a substantial amount of range. Lightyear bills it as the first series-production solar-powered car and suggests a typical driver could use it nearly every day on solar power alone.
HYDROGEN-POWERED HONDA CR-V COMING IN 2024
“Starting production of Lightyear 0, the first solar car, brings us a big step closer to our mission of clean mobility for everyone, everywhere,” Lightyear co-founder and CEO Lex Hoefsloot said. “We may be the first to achieve this, but I certainly hope we aren’t the last.”
The Lightyear 0 features a streamlined design that has the lowest aerodynamic drag of any production car and a relatively small 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack that helps keeps its weight at around 3,500 pounds, which is about the same as a similarly-sized conventional automobile. It uses small video cameras instead of sideview mirrors and narrow tires to reduce wind and road resistance.
Along with the energy provided by the sun, it can charge a regular electric car and has a claimed range of over 300 miles per charge. It is designed primarily for efficiency, rather than performance, and its 174 hp motor needs about 10 seconds to accelerate it to 60 mph, while its top speed is restricted to 100 mph.
Lightyear is planning to ramp up production to a rate of 1,000 annually, but is starting at one per week.
Given its low volume and high technology, it is currently priced at 250,000 euros, which is roughly $260,000.
Lightyear has not announced plans to sell it int he U.S. yet, but will be offering an update at CES in Las Vegas in January.
Source: Fox News