Solar-powered electric car to be sold in Europe by end of the year

Solar-powered electric car to be sold in Europe by end of the year
Photo from Lightyear.

A Dutch start-up intends to start selling their long-range solar-electric car by the end of year, according to an announcement on Thursday from the company Lightyear.

Lightyear is working with tyre manufacturer Bridgestone to produce the vehicle, which has five square metres of solar panels installed on its roof to give it a range of 725 kilometres.

In the face of the climate crisis, vehicle manufacturers are looking for alternatives to fossil-fuel powered cars. While electric automobiles are increasingly popular, a recent Bridgestone survey found that their range was a barrier for potential users in Europe.

The Lightyear One car intends to be the answer to these concerns.

The solar panels on the roof provide three quarters of the car's energy needs for a year, says Lightyear CEO Lex Hoefsloot. The range is 725 kilometres, even at night.

Photo from Lightyear.

The car charges itself as soon as it is exposed to the sun. In sunny countries, it will be possible to drive without recharging.

If necessary, a charging point is provided, allowing the battery to be recharged in an hour.

The car also has four motors built into the wheels of the vehicle, which “maximises energy efficiency on all types of surface,” according to Lightyear.

The Lightyear One will go on sale in Europe at the end of 2021, but not everyone will be able to afford the initial €150,000 price tag.

The aim is not to remain in this luxury market, Hoefsloot said.

Lightyear was founded in 2016 by a student of the Solar Team Eindhoven, which won the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in 2013, 2015 and 2017.

The start-up has been collaborating with Bridgestone Emia (Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and Africa) since its inception.

The Brussels Times

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