MotoringScience & Tech

World’s longest range solar car set for launch | PHOTOS

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  • The vehicle is charged directly by five square metres of solar cells that are built into the roof and bonnet. These reportedly allow the car to generate up to 20 000 km worth of energy per year.

DUTCH mobility specialist Lightyear is planning to launch the world’s first long-range solar electric car.

Scheduled to go on sale in Europe by the end of 2022, the Lightyear One is said to be three times more energy efficient than a conventional battery-powered car.

The company is claiming a range of 725 km on the WLTP cycle, although this won’t be achievable on the sun’s energy alone as the company says its solar system will reduce rather than eliminate the need for charging.

The vehicle is charged directly by five square metres of solar cells that are built into the roof and bonnet. These reportedly allow the car to generate up to 20 000 km worth of energy per year.

The solar cells are encased in safety glass, which is said to be strong enough to allow a person to walk on them without causing any dents.

The Lightyear One is constructed from advanced lightweight materials, and the car is powered by four individual motors that are built into the wheels to ensure that no energy is lost in transit from engine to wheel.

The rubber sounds rather impressive too, with Bridgestone having created a set of lightweight tyres specifically for this car. These Turanza Eco tyres incorporate Enliten and Ologic technologies to reduce weight and cut rolling resistance through innovative tread patterns and a slim design.

“Lightyear One represents a huge opportunity to change mobility for the better, ” said Lightyear CEO and co-founder Lex Hoefsloot.

“For centuries, we have lived in balance with nature. With the technologies of today, we have the opportunity to do so again. By starting from scratch and using the laws of nature as a guideline, nature becomes our greatest ally in developing ultra-efficient designs,” Hoefsloot added.

The Lightyear One is set to hit the test tracks during the second quarter of this year ahead of its 2022 on-sale date. – Car Mag ■

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