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December 2, 2022

This Solar-Powered EV Will Never Need To Be Plugged In. And You Can Actually Buy One

Has a Dutch automotive startup solved the problem surrounding EV range anxiety? With the Lightyear 0, perhaps. This is the world’s first series-production EV that generates power directly from sunlight.

Costing some 250,000 euros (P 14.74 million), the Lightyear 0 uses a high-voltage 60-kWh battery. Including its ultra-slippery 0.19 co-efficient of drag and lightweight construction (its curb weight is just at 1,575 kilograms), the Lightyear 0 has a maximum cruising range of 625 kilometers (560 kilometers on purely highway).

Powered by one of the most efficient electric motors in the world (it boasts of a 97 percent efficiency), the Lightyear 0 does the century mark in about 10 seconds, and top speed is pegged at 160 km/h.

But what truly separates it from other EVs is its array of solar cells spanning across the hood and roof. This, according to its maker, generate 1.05-kW of power, allowing it to add as much as 70 kilometers of driving range daily. This means it can be driven theoretically without ever needing to be plugged in. If the solar charging range is not enough, it can be charged using a household outlet giving it an additional range of 32 kilometers per hour or a 22-kW wall box that adds 200 kilometers per hour of charging.

The Lightyear 0 is designed with sustainability in mind. Its interior is vegan and eco-friendly featuring plant-based leather, fabrics made from recycled PET bottles, and wooden decorative elements derived from restructured rattan palm.

The Lightyear 0 is produced in Finland at the rate of one car per week, though plans are underway to increase the production to five per week towards the second half of 2023.

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