The Helmond-based startup Lightyear has unveiled the first prototype of its Lightyear One. It is the first time that the solar car is actually shown, after the company has already shown teasers for a few years.
The Lightyear One is a car that runs entirely on solar energy. The car was unveiled in Katwijk on Tuesday morning. The Lightyear One has a total of five square meters of solar cells with safety glass, and can drive 725 kilometers on a full battery charge.
Lightyear showed the car for the first time. The company was founded in 2016, and until now had only shown teasers of the car. This already indicated that the roof and rear window consisted entirely of solar panels. The real car also has solar panels on the hood. The car has a battery that can be charged in eight hours with a standard 230V plug so that the car can drive 400 kilometers, or in four hours to a range of 300 kilometers. The car can also be charged with the solar panels. According to the company, about forty percent of the electricity comes from the solar panels.
The sunroof of the car can deliver 1250 watt peak on sunny days. This would be about 700 kWh per year. According to the makers, the roof can extend the range by 50 to 70 km daily in the summer.
The car can also be charged at regular charging stations. There is support for Type 2, with a maximum of 22kW, and for fast charging with a CCS plug. The Lightyear One has four independent wheel motors so that less energy is lost, according to the company. The company also says it plans to send software updates to the car over the air, and that the One will receive support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
For the time being, one hundred copies of the car have been reserved, but potential buyers can reserve another five hundred new models. The first cars cost 119,000 euros excluding VAT. The car can also be leased through LeasePlan. This is possible from 1897 euros per month. In the future, Lightyear wants to make cheaper solar cars, which are also used as shared cars to reduce costs.