Although it runs on no energy at all, it is still a car.
Lightyear 0, an all-electric four-door, is equipped with over 50 square feet worth of solar panels on the roof and hood. The Dutch startup claims it can produce up to 43 miles of electricity per day. The vehicle is currently in production.
Contract manufacturer Valmet is building it in Finland. They have previously built several cars, including the Porsche Boxster and the original Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid.
Although several electric cars have been produced over the years, none with large solar panels have provided much range. Lightyear calls it the first series-produced solar-powered car. This suggests that a typical driver could use it almost every day using solar power.
Lightyear CEO and co-founder Lex Hoefsloot stated that “Starting production Lightyear 0, the first ever solar car,” is a significant step towards our mission to provide clean mobility for all. “We may not be the first to do this, but I sure hope that we’re not the last.”
Lightyear 0 has a sleek design that reduces aerodynamic drag. It also features a small 60-kilowatt-hour battery pack. This helps keep its weight to around 3,500 pounds. That’s about the same as a similar-sized conventional car. To reduce road resistance and wind, it uses narrow tires and side view mirrors instead of large video cameras.
It can also charge regular electric cars and boasts a range of more than 300 miles per charge. It was designed for efficiency and performance. The 174-horsepower motor takes about 10 seconds to get to 60 mph. However, its top speed is limited to 100 mph.
Lightyear plans to increase production to 1,000 per year, but it is currently producing one per week.
It is currently priced at 250,000 Euros, or approximately $260,000, due to its low volume and high-tech features.
Lightyear has not yet announced plans to sell the product in the U.S., but they will offer an update at CES Las Vegas in January.