Lightyear One, first long-range solar powered EV revealed

The Lightyear One, an all-electric vehicle with integrated solar technology, is set to hit the road by the end of this year.

With five square metres of solar panels, it is one of the very few electric vehicles that can be charged by either solar energy or by plugging into an AC or DC charger.

An hour of charge can get you:

  • Solar = 12km of range
  • 7kW at 230v = 35km
  • 22kW (public) = 209km
  • 60kW (Fast charging) = 570km

According to the company, the Lightyear One has a range of 725km on the WLTP drive cycle.

“We started the development of our solar vehicles by designing around the system that will power it all: the solar roof. By maximizing our solar yield, we maximise the independence and amount of truly sustainable kilometres for the end-user,” the company writes.

The vehicle rides on custom Turanza Eco tyres, specially engineered by Bridgestone. Using a combination of Bridgestone’s lightweight ENLITEN and ologic technologies, these tyres are said to boost range and maintain a low rolling resistance.

Powering the vehicle is four independent in-wheel motors, that deliver improved traction control and maximise energy efficiency for total peak torque of 1920Nm. The vehicle boasts a record-breaking drag coefficient of 0.20 (on par with the new Mercedes-Benz EQS), making it one of the most aerodynamic five-seaters to date.

The vehicle measures 5057mm long, 1898mm wide and 1426mm tall; a similar length to the Tesla Model X.

The standard features, as listed by Lightyear, include:

  • Over the air software updates
  • Companion app
  • Wireless key
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Central armrest front passengers
  • Three ISOfix anchors in the back
  • Cup holders

Testing is to commence in the second quarter of 2021. The vehicle is said to be commercially available by the end of this year.


Car Expert | World’s first long-range solar electric vehicle revealed

Lightyear | Lightyear One

27 April 2021

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