Dutch startup Lightyear has started to accept orders for its solar-energy car, dubbed the “Lightyear One,” which is scheduled for a full rollout by 2021.
The Lightyear One has caused quite a stir when it made its debut at CES 2018, and was granted the "climate change innovation award" then. Lightyear was officially founded in 2016 by former members of the Eindhoven solar energy team, whose solar car won the championship of the World Solar Challenge in 2013, 2015, and 2017.
In addition to having a battery, the Lightyear One will come with solar panels on its hood, roof, and tail, which totals five square meters in space. The panels have a total conversion rate of around 20%. The car boasts a cruising range of 725 kilometers (around 450 miles), which is higher than the 595 kilometers of Tesla's Model S. When charged for one hour, the car is able to travel a total distance of 12 kilometers, according to the company.
The solar panels are all covered with glass for protection and the car has a trunk with 900 liters in capacity, which can be enlarged to 1,400 liters when the rear-row chairs are folded, making it comparable to existing SUVs.
The information on the company's website shows that the Lightyear One is furnished with a 60 kW charging system, with one-hour of charging capable of powering 570 kilometers of driving distance. Charging can also be made at a standard voltage of 230 V, with one-night charging capable of powering 350 kilometers of driving distance. Featuring a four-wheel drive design, the solar car is furnished with four motors that are capable of accelerating the car’s speed from zero to 100 kilometers/hour within 10 seconds.
The company has claimed that it has received orders for 100 solar cars, compared with the current quota of 500 cars, which will be delivered in 2021. The price of the solar car is set at 119,000 euros (NT$4.199 million) now. Following its official launch, the price will jump to 149,000 euros (NT$5.258 million).
(Collaborative media: TechNews, first photo courtesy of Lightyear)