The eponymous company’s Lightyear 0 solar car is ready for production. According to the press release, the car has been in development for six years and is said to mark the first “production-ready solar car in the world”. We’ve summarized all the info.
Lightyear 0: All info and details
On 09 June, manufacturer Lightyear presented its first solar car to the public. The Lightyear 0 relies on a rather down-to-earth, no-frills design with clean lines and closed rims.
What is immediately noticeable are the large solar panels that cover the entire road. There are a whole five square meters of solar cells on the hood and roof of the 0. According to the manufacturer, these should be able to increase the range by an additional 70 kilometers under ideal conditions.
Together with the electric motor, the Lightyear 0 has a total range of 625 kilometers according to WLTP. The final specification tests are still pending. At a constant speed of 110 km/h, the solar car has a range of 560 kilometers. This value could be verified in June 2022 with the Lightyear Production Intent Vehicle 012. Lightyear calls this “highway range.”
Overall, the Lightyear 0 will have a maximum speed of 160 km/h, a 60-kWh battery pack, and acceleration from a standstill to 100 km/h in about 10 seconds. Extrapolated to a year, the solar panels should thus enable between 6,000 and 11,000 kilometers of additional power, depending on the prevailing climate – the maximum value is based on an extrapolation for a 35-kilometer commute in southern Spain in spring and summer and is therefore rather theoretical.
Design and engineering
The design of the Lightyear 0 placed great emphasis on aerodynamics, according to Lex Hoefsloot, co-founder and CEO of the Netherlands-based company. Overall, the electric solar car comes in at dimensions of 5,083 x 1,9272 x 1,445 mm (length x width x height) and weighs in at 1,575 kg.
The low weight was made possible in part by the materials used. The body of the Lightyear 0, for example, is made of reprocessed carbon fiber. Motors are located inside the four wheels. They are said to have particularly low rolling resistance. An optimized thermal system is said to intelligently balance energy use with ambient conditions.
Details on battery range, on the other hand, are provided by Lightyear in a somewhat cryptic manner. Here, the company talks about the car being able to be charged at “any charging port in the world”. A range of 32 km per hour is said to be possible at a standard home socket, and even up to 520 k per hour at fast charging stations.
Otherwise, 640 liters of trunk volume are available. According to the manufacturer, the car offers space for five adults, while the interior is also designed with sustainability in mind in the form of vegan materials. There is also a 10.1-inch display in the infotainment system including a touchscreen and Android Automotive OS. The Zero relies on cameras for the exterior and rearview mirrors.
Lightyear 0 price and availability
The Lightyear 0 can currently already be configured via the official website configuration. A total of ten color variants and an aero cover for the wheels for 12 kilometers of additional range are available here. Prices start at 250,000 euros – plus VAT. Delivery is scheduled for November 2022.
Excitingly, Lightyear also plans to offer affordable solar cars from 2024/2025 with the Lightyear 2 project. This could then be used to compete against the Sono Motors Sion, which is scheduled for series production in Uusikaupunki, Finland, starting in 2023. It is to be offered for around 30,000 euros.