- Netherlands-based electric-vehicle startup Lightyear revealed its first model: the Lightyear 0.
- The car can travel 43 miles per day using energy from built-in solar panels, Lightyear says.
- Lightyear will make 946 Lightyear 0 cars, and each will cost roughly $263,000.
After six years of development, Netherlands-based electric-vehicle startup Lightyear unveiled its first production-ready car on Thursday: the Lightyear 0.
What makes Lightyear different from other EV startups? The Lightyear 0 boasts five square meters of solar panels on its roof and hood.
Lightyear says in optimal conditions those solar panels can generate enough energy for the car to drive 43 miles each day.
That’s on top of the Lightyear’s claimed range of 388 miles. If true, that figure would nearly match Tesla’s longest-range Model S sedan.
Someone with a short daily commute of 22 miles could drive for up to seven months without plugging in their car, depending on where they live, Lightyear claims.
There’s a reason solar-powered cars don’t exist yet. They’re tough to engineer, and it’s simpler in some ways to install solar panels at home and charge a vehicle using the electricity they generate.
Built for efficiency above all else, the Lightyear 0 is no speed demon. It produces around 170 horsepower, has a top speed of 100 mph, and hits 62 mph in 10 seconds.
Slipping through the air with minimal drag is crucial for efficiency. To that end, Lightyear says its vehicle is “the most aerodynamic family car to date.”
The Lightyear 0’s interior is sleek, minimal, and futuristic.
It makes generous use of sustainable materials like vegan leather, recycled plastic bottles, and palm wood trim.
The Lightyear 0 has a 10.1-inch touchscreen and few physical buttons.
Lightyear plans a limited production run of 946 cars. Each will cost 250,000 euros, or roughly $263,000. The company plans to follow up with a more affordable, mass-market car by 2025.
Starting a car company is incredibly challenging, as evidenced by the vast number of startups that have failed and the many making a go of it today.
But Lightyear claims its vehicles will hit streets soon. Lightyear says production will start this year through a contracted manufacturer, and the first cars will be delivered as early as November.
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