Though the idea of a solar car sounds good in theory, no one has so far been able to come up with one that is viable. Lightyear is a company that promises the sky with its premise of a solar-powered car that has a range of 800 kilometers or 497 miles. The company which is based in the Netherlands says that its solar-powered car, an electric four-wheel drive called the One will transform the concept of mobility.
The company has divulged very few details about Lightyear One, but did say that the model will make its debut in 2018, and will be launched in the market in 2019. It has revealed a rendering of what the vehicle will look like.
Though the model will have an electric powertrain, according to company sources, motorists who live in warm countries with plenty of sunlight will be able to go for months without recharging the car through a socket. In the event that there is no sun, charging can be done through a regular wall socket. According to Lex Hoefsloot, the CEO of Lightyear, the One can work effectively even in the absence of sunlight thanks to what he says is the largest battery option which is powerful enough to provide the claimed 800-km range.
This range is very high when compared to the range of electric vehicles that are currently available in the market. While the Tesla Model S has a 100-kWh battery pack which gives it a maximum range of 613 km (or 315 miles) on the EPA drive cycle, Lucid Motors says its 130-kWh model can go for 644 kilometers (400 miles) on a single charge. It looks like the Lightyear One’s battery pack will be really big in size, unless the company has developed some revolutionary technology to pack heavy power into a small-sized battery.
The rendering of the model appears to depict a sedan with four-wheel drive. The appearance seems to be similar to that of the Lucid Air. Solar panels are clearly visible on the boot lid and the back of the car’s roof while the rear bumper sports some distinctive vents.
Lightyear has expressed immense confidence in its model and has opened up a limited number of pre-order. The company plans to launch the model first in the European and US markets before launching it on a global basis. Prices of the Lightyear One are said to be in the range of Euro 119,000 (USD 137,000), but if the company delivers on its claims, in the long run it might be well worth this high price.
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