World’s First Solar-Powered Car Is Ready To Hit the Road

Lightyear 0 Solar Car

As electric vehicles become more common, there are innovators looking to improve the technology. This includes Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear. After six years in development, the company has just released Lightyear 0, the world's first solar vehicle. Without the need for a charging station, this sleek electric vehicle can keep you on the road for seven months thanks to integrated solar panels.

Currently, most electric cars maximize their mileage by having a battery, which means that they're able to spend less time at charging stations and more time driving. However, these batteries not only increase the cars' carbon footprint during production, but they add weight and tie them to high-powered charging stations.

Lightyear 0 skirts this issue by ditching the battery. Instead, the car features curved solar arrays that keep it charged, whether drivers are commuting to work or are simply parked outdoors. The company estimates that, in optimal conditions, the car can power itself with 43 miles (70 km) of range per day. This means that drivers with a daily commute of 22 miles (35 km) could drive for months during the summer without needing to plug in.

Lightyear 0 Solar Car

In fact, they estimate that drivers in sunny areas could go for seven months without having to charge via a plug. If you live in an overcast environment, you'll still get two months of drive time. But what if you do need to plug in? This is where Lightyear continues to innovate. They claim that there's no need for a high-powered charging station and that the car will still charge at a rate of 20 miles (32 km) of range per hour with a regular plug and socket.

Lightyear's dedication to sustainability doesn't end with its solar panels. The entire design is meticulous in its use of recycled and sustainable materials. This includes an interior with plant-based leather and fabrics made from recycled PET bottles, as well as outer panels made from reclaimed carbon and residual carbon materials.

Now road legal, Lightyear 0 is arriving to consumers in Europe in November 2022. It will be produced in limited quantities with a price tag of  $263,126 (€250,000). The goal is to then work toward a model aimed at high production with an accessible price point of $31,575 (€30,000). Lightyear estimates production on that model will start in late 2024 or early 2025.

Lightyear 0 is the world's first solar vehicle.

Lightyear 0 Solar Vehicle

Integrated solar arrays allow for efficient charging, even when parked.

Lightyear 0 Solar Vehicle

And if need be, any household plug can top up the car's range.

Lightyear 0 Solar Vehicle

The contemporary interior uses sustainable materials.

Interior of Lightyear 0 Solar Vehicle

Interior of Lightyear 0 Solar Car

The road-legal vehicle will be available to consumers in Europe in November 2022.

Interior of Lightyear 0 Solar Car

Lightyear: Website | Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [designboom]

All images via Lightyear.

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UK is Experimenting with Electric Highways That Wirelessly Charge Cars While Driving

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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