Lightyear One is the solar electric car that will be presented on June 25th in the Netherlands. Planned for market release in 2020, the car with solar panels on the roof will debut with the prototype that anticipates a production model initially meant for small volumes.
The price is high: € 119,000 excluding taxes.
The following production plan is announced:
- Signature Edition (first 10 units, delivery early 2020)
- Pioneer Edition (first 100 units, delivery in 2020)
- Lightyear One (up to number 500, delivery in 2021), required an advance of € 19,000
- Lightyear One (from # 501 onwards, deliveries at the end of 2021), a € 4,000 advance was requested
The solar car will be four-wheel drive, through the use of four independent motors to reduce as much as possible the mechanical parts, and is designed to maximize autonomy and be able to remain disconnected from the network for a long time. The manufacturer's announcement speaks of up to 400/800 kilometers of autonomy (WLTP) depending on the chosen battery.
The key to autonomy will be efficiency in all car components that exploit the know-how accumulated by the founders. Aerodynamics improved by 15/20% compared to the best cars in circulation today, reduced mass thanks to aluminum and CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) and a more compact and lighter battery.
The promise of solar cells is ambitious: driving 20,000 kilometers in one year would cover 43% of the total energy required with the sun: taking advantage of the instrument made available by the manufacturer, the average solar radiation in Milan would make it possible to generate 749 kWh / m2 per year, a figure that rises to 895 kWh / m2 in Rome.
The four electric motors also deal with regenerative braking, managing most situations. When the battery is charged, the mechanical brakes (discs and calipers) intervene, which also take care of braking in emergency situations.
“The Lightyear One was designed from the ground up to solve two of the biggest drawbacks of electric cars: range and charging,” Lightyear’s chief executive Lex Hoefsloot said.
Lightyear was founded in 2016 and its goal is to achieve, within the next ten years, cars with very low operating costs and a long life span, so that the cost of use per km becomes extremely low. At that point, electric cars will become accessible to everyone.
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