World’s First Long Range Solar Electric Car ‘Lightyear One’ Launches, Outcompetes Tesla

Lightyear One Tesla

EV Lightyear One prototype redefines mobility as it drives 710 km on just a single battery charge reaching the technology performance milestone.

A Netherland-based “mission-driven” company outcompeted the electric car maker Tesla as it launched the world’s first EV-efficient long-range solar electric car ‘Lightyear One’ that consumes only 83 Wh/km—two to three times less energy than any other electric vehicle on the global market. This implies, the prototype redefines mobility as it drives 710 km on just a single battery charge reaching the technology performance milestone. “Drive for months without charging. Clean and convenient,” the EV carmaker Lightyear stated.

After four years of hard work and in-house development, this is a very important engineering and technological milestone. It validates the performance of our patented technology and truly shows that we are able to deliver on our promise to introduce the most efficient electric vehicle,” said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear in a press release.

Furthermore, he added, This prototype has over 710 km of range with an energy consumption of only 85 Wh/km at 85 km per hour. Even the most efficient electric cars in the market today consume around 50% more energy at this relatively low speed.”

The world’s first long-range solar electric vehicle completed the 441 miles (710 km) in a test drive with a single battery charge of 60 kWh. “Lightyear achieves an important technology milestone by demonstrating long-range performance at the test track,” the company described, adding that the electric vehicle operates on the lowest emissions, the lowest charging frequency, and 7,000 to 20,000 kilometers of free, effortless, and clean solar range, per annum.

“45 miles would be the additional range on a sunny day. In this case, it was a bit of a cloudy day, we got a few hours of good sun and in total about 3.4 kWh from the solar panels, which equals around 25 miles,” Lightyear’s CEO explained. “It definitely surpassed expectations on such a very early run. We know we can still improve on for example aerodynamics, the powertrain, brakes, and suspension,” he added.

The carmaker elaborated that it is focused on “creating positive change for the planet,” and therefore it has manufactured an off-the-grid, clean and convenient mobility solution to encourage drivers to move around, free from impact.  To maximize efficiency, Lightyear used the low rolling-resistance tires from Bridgestone and gave the car a low drag coefficient of under 0.20. Hoefsloot turned to the “most efficient inverters on the planet” for manufacturing the Lightyear One. The EV car’s solar roof is made out of 53 square feet of solar cells thus enabling the car to drive for up to several months without visiting a charging station.

Drivers can ‘leapfrog the grid’

The car was put together by the award-winning experts from Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, a virtual event that calls on the global innovators to contribute in the field of technical innovation by engineering a solar-powered vehicle and powering it across some of the world’s most challenging landscape. The teams have envisioned for the drivers to “leapfrog the grid” and rely less on charging stations, thus reducing the load on the electrical grids. The production for the car is expected to begin in early 2022, with 946 units produced in the first year ahead of the full pick-up by 2024.

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