The Lightyear 0, A solar-powered electric car that can go months between battery charges, has finally entered production.
Dutch startup recently announced that it has begun building its boundary-pushing debut car, according to Jalopnik. It is not the only solar electric car that has been in the works, but it is the first to go into production.
As automakers rush to release electric cars, it can be difficult to develop one that stands out. However, this should not be a problem for Zero. The sedan may look like any other premium EV at first glance, but the top of the car, from the hood to the rear deck, is covered in solar panels that help keep its 60 kWh battery charged.
Solar cells have a big impact on how much time you spend charging your vehicle. Lightyear claims the panels can generate up to
miles per day.
That might not sound like much, but according to the brand, Dutch drivers who drive that distance a day can easily go two months between charges in the summer. According to Jalopnik, if you live somewhere even sunnier, like Portugal, the time between charges can be up to seven months. Even in the darkest months of the year, the range shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Based on the European WLTP test cycle, a car can go 388 miles between charges.
Lightyear previously announced plans to build just 964 examples of 0 in its Finnish factory. Initially, only one car will roll off the line per week, but the brand hopes to increase this number to five per week by the end of 2023.
“Entering into the production of the first solar car, Lightyear 0, takes us a big step closer to our goal of clean mobility for everyone, everywhere,” said Lightyear CEO and co-founder Lex Hoefsloot in a statement.
“We may be the first to achieve this, but I certainly hope we won’t be the last.”
It’s no surprise that an electric car as unique as the Zero doesn’t come cheap. Prices for the Lightyear sedan start at 250,000 euros (about $262,000). If a quarter of a million seems a little steep to you, you’re in luck. The brand plans to launch a more affordable solar electric car called the 2 by the middle of the decade.