Share article:
Share article:

New solar paneled driven car brought to the market

Lex Hoefsloot and co-founders of Lightyear one. The car currently costs 148,000 euros.

Lightyear is a new Dutch manufacturer that introduces an electric car that can be charged by the integrated solar panels. The makers claim a range of 600 to 800 kilometers. On Tuesday, the five founders of the company showed the prototype of the Lightyear One to the public and investors.

More than one hundred customers have already ordered a car for 148.000 euros. “Compared to a classic EV, our car has a completely different construction,” says Lex Hoefsloot, one of the founders. Its sleek design is made by the Belgian former Pininfarina designer, Lowie Vermeersch. “Each wheel has its electric motor. The car has a smaller battery and is lower, making it more aerodynamic. The roof contains solar cells, but the car can also be charged with a plug, such as regular electric cars,” Martijn Lammers, another Lightyear founder, adds.

It started with a race

The company was founded in 2016 and now employs 130 people. The founders are former students at the Technical University of Eindhoven University of Technology who won the world’s most famous race for solar cars in Australia in 2016.

In this race, students with a solar-powered car try to cover as much distance as possible. They thought that it should be possible to apply this technology to passenger cars as well. The starting point is the same: drive as many kilometers on the sun as possible.

Up to 70 km on solar power

“The Lightyear One has a range of 600 to 800 km, which is more than the competition offers,” Hoefschoot told New Mobility. “On a sunny day, the solar panels alone provide enough power to drive 50 to 70 km.” To ensure a sufficient driving range, this hybrid car can also be charged by a classic charging plug.

Low consumption

The solar panels are incredibly efficient, allowing them to charge the battery. Nissan has already installed solar panels on the Leaf, but these only serve to condition the interior when the car is parked in the sun.

The Lightyear’s photovoltaic cells provide 1,25 kWh, so one hour of parking in the sun is enough to drive about 10 km. Because a car is parked on average 90% of the time, this system offers a lot of potentials.

Moreover, the engineers promise a very modest consumption of 10 kWh per 100 km. By way of comparison: a small Renault Zoe consumes 13,5 kWh and a large SUV, like the Audi eTron, needs an average of 24 kWh per 100 km.

First deliveries in 2021

Today only the prototype is shown. The first models will be delivered in 2021. To start production, the company needs a capital injection of 30 million euros provided by investors and subsidies.

The cars will finally be assembled in the Netherlands (Helmond). The plant has a capacity of 1.500 vehicles a year. The aim is to gradually increase the production volume so that the car can become more affordable in the future.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...