Lightyear 0 is the world's first production-ready solar car.
Lex Hoofsloot with the production ready Lightyear 0Lightyear

Lightyear 0 is the world's first production-ready solar car.

No more battling for a shaded parking spot!

Netherlands-based Lightyear, the high-tech startup developing the world's first solar car, unveiled their first car, the Lightyear 0. This solar car is set to go into production this year after six years of R&D, design, engineering, prototyping, and testing. While it is highly unlikely to come to India, it did get us excited with the prospect of driving for up to seven months without the need to plug it in. No fuel spent on a road trip? Sign me up!

Gray or Green?
Gray or Green? Lightyear

This is the result of five Eindhoven School of Technology students not only winning the World Solar Challenge four times, but also transforming their winning race car into a real solar-powered passenger car: the Lightyear One. Lightyear was founded with five employees in late 2016. Lightyear's mission is to make clean transportation available to everyone, everywhere. Lightyear's energy-efficient design and integrated solar cells aim to solve two of the most common issues with electric vehicles: charging and range. The rapidly expanding company now employs 500 people. Lightyear debuted its first driving prototype in 2019, and the startup revealed their production-intent car, the Lightyear 0, in June 2022, which would go into limited production in the fall of 2022

Does this remind you of a certain other car?
Does this remind you of a certain other car? Lightyear

The Lightyear 0 features five square metres of proprietary, double-curved solar panels, allowing it to charge itself while driving or simply parked outside. In ideal conditions, this allows Lightyear 0 to add 70 kilometres of range every day to its predicted 625-kilometer WLTP range. Drivers utilising Lightyear 0 for their daily commute (35 kilometres) may drive for months in the summer before needing to plug into a public charger or household outlet; in locations such as the Netherlands, it would be two months, while in Spain or Portugal, it might be up to seven months.

Vegan interior
Vegan interiorLightyear

The Lightyear 0 has a 60 kWh battery pack and is powered by four electric motors that produce 174 horsepower and 1,269 lb-ft of torque. Now, the objective of this car isn't to compete with others at the Nurburgring, but we couldn't help but wonder about the speed. According to Lightyear, the vehicle will race from zero to 100kmph in 10 seconds and achieve a peak speed of 160kmph.

Rear visibility seems to be a bit of an issue
Rear visibility seems to be a bit of an issue Lightyear

As you might imagine, sustainability lies at the core of Lightyear, with the interior featuring a tapestry of recycled and ethically-sourced materials like high-quality plant-based leather, fabrics made from recycled PET bottles, wooden deco elements from sustainably-restructured rattan palm, and ecological, breathable micro-fibre suede. The outside body panels of the car are also constructed of recycled carbon – leftover carbon fibre components that would otherwise go to waste.

The first set of customer cars is said to be delivered globally by the end of this year. Lightyear hasn't said anything about an India launch.

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