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Old 14th June 2022, 16:55   #1
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Default Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

EV car brand Lightyear has unveiled its first solar-powered electric vehicle called 'Lightyear 0'. It is said to be the world's first production-ready solar-powered electric vehicle.

Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range-lightyear01.png

The Lightyear 0 comes with a very futuristic design with a fastback-style body. It also comes with sleek LED headlamps at the front, an LED light bar at the rear, aero alloys at the front and aero covers for the wheels. All these aero elements on the 4-seater solar-powered EV give it a drag coefficient of 0.19. The electric vehicle features a solar bonnet and roof with "five square metres of double-curved solar arrays".

Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range-lightyear02.png

Inside, the Lightyear 0 comes with a cabin which mostly uses recycled and/or sustainable materials. This includes plant-based leather upholstery, textiles created from plastic bottles, wood trims and many other elements. The minimalistic cabin on the EV also comes with its share of tech, including a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment display at the centre with over-the-air software updates, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, phone-as-key and all the other bells and whistles.

Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range-lightyear03.png

With the 5 square metres of solar arrays, the EV claims to have a solar output of up to 11,000 km per year. The company also claims that someone with an average daily commute of 35 km can theoretically go up to seven months without charging in certain sunny countries. The Lightyear 0 comes with a 60 kWh battery pack, which itself offers a max range of 625 km on a full charge. The battery is paired with four electric motors (one on each wheel), which produce a combined output of 172 BHP.

Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range-lightyear04.png

Lightyear also touts its solar-powered EV as the world's most energy-efficient electric vehicle, consuming just 10.5 kWh per 100 km at highway speeds.

Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range-lightyear05.png

The Lightyear 0 is priced at US$ 263,243, with production scheduled to start in fall-2022. The company will produce just 946 units each year. Deliveries of the Lightyear 0 are expected to begin in November this year.

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Last edited by RahulNagaraj : 14th June 2022 at 16:56.
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Old 14th June 2022, 20:40   #2
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

Thanks for sharing. I was always wondering why companies are not exploring the option of solar panels on the roof of vehicles. This should extend the range of EVs significantly on sunny days.
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Old 14th June 2022, 23:14   #3
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

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Thanks for sharing. I was always wondering why companies are not exploring the option of solar panels on the roof of vehicles. This should extend the range of EVs significantly on sunny days.
But, see how much different this car needs to be designed to get 70km/day from solar, this car has the dimensions of an S class to get more area for solar panels, comes with 4 bike tyres to reduce tyre friction, built on aluminium chassis for weight reduction, has a shape which gives the lowest Cd value, needs to be parked outside under the sun all day in a sunny climate(like in spain, according to their website).

Imagine a solar roof on a mass market EV like Nexon, you hardly get 10km/day range by parking under the sun, and if you are not particularly concerned about hot interiors.
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Old 15th June 2022, 00:53   #4
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

Dutch ingenuity at its best!

I listened to a Dutch radio show the other day that was interviewing the current CEO and one of itís founders. Interesting guy with some very interesting ideas as well. These cars are ridiculously expensive of course. I understood the first series has already sold out, some time ago. Real nerdy owner, with bags of money, but still. Essentially launching customers.

But he believed they will be entering lower segments pretty soon. These guys are obsessed with solar panels and will go to extreme length to find a few square cm anywhere on a car, including for instance on rear view mirrors.

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Old 15th June 2022, 01:46   #5
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

The origin story perhaps, if anybody is interested.


Similar strategy as Tesla. Build and sell a low volume, expensive car first, to then fund, build and sell a lower cost, higher volume car.

Although, no possibility of a panoramic sunroof in 2022 might be a deal breaker for some!
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Old 15th June 2022, 07:20   #6
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

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Originally Posted by SKC-auto View Post
But, see how much different this car needs to be designed to get 70km/day from solar, this car has the dimensions of an S class to get more area for solar panels, comes with 4 bike tyres to reduce tyre friction, built on aluminium chassis for weight reduction, has a shape which gives the lowest Cd value, needs to be parked outside under the sun all day in a sunny climate(like in spain, according to their website).

Imagine a solar roof on a mass market EV like Nexon, you hardly get 10km/day range by parking under the sun, and if you are not particularly concerned about hot interiors.
All your points are very valid. But this is just the first iteration of the product. With advances in technology, things will change. It may take time for this to evolve into a mass Market product, but it will get there. Just look at the picture of first computer or first camera
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Old 15th June 2022, 07:24   #7
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

Ahh an EV with a power Bank, just what the market wants. Driven by "Buzz Lightyear" Does it have an option to plug in as there are many countries in the world where it's difficult to see the sun days on end.
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Old 15th June 2022, 10:12   #8
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

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Originally Posted by SKC-auto View Post
..mass market EV like Nexon, you hardly get 10km/day range by parking under the sun, and if you are not particularly concerned about hot interiors.
I beg to differ here. Lets say, Nexon has a solar roof and it did not contribute any range, but could power air con, would be a very useful case. Currently one has to give up the AC with battery percentage <10km (if I recall correctly). Also not the mention the drop in the range while using the AirCon.
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Old 15th June 2022, 12:18   #9
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

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Originally Posted by purohitanuj View Post
I beg to differ here. Lets say, Nexon has a solar roof and it did not contribute any range, but could power air con, would be a very useful case. Currently one has to give up the AC with battery percentage <10km (if I recall correctly). Also not the mention the drop in the range while using the AirCon.

This idea had already been implemented by Toyota in their Gen 3 Prius long back. Although it could not run the air conditioning on solar, it did operate the blower, which atleast ensured the car did not feel like an oven when you came back.
The intresting part was they complemented this with remote AC functionality which allowed the prius to use its hybrid battery pack to operate the AC for cooling the car for 3 mins before you hop in. This was a nifty feature back when there were no apps.
Somehow could never fathom how this did not become mainstream even when a hot parked car is a problem almost worldwide.

Below is the video showcasing it back then:

Last edited by EV Fan : 15th June 2022 at 12:19.
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Old 21st September 2022, 15:43   #10
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

Lightyear 0: The world's most aerodynamic production car

The Lightyear 0 was unveiled earlier this year and was said to be the first solar-powered production car in the world. The company has now sent its electric car to the wind tunnel, churning out impressive results.

Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range-lightyear0windtunnel.jpg

According to reports, the Lightyear 0 solar-powered electric car is now the world's most aerodynamic production vehicle with a drag coefficient of 0.175. The Cd figures were confirmed in the FKFS wind tunnels in Stuttgart, Germany under WLTP conditions. In comparison, the Mercedes-Benz EQS has a Cd of 0.20, the Lucid Air, 0.21 and the Tesla Model S, 0.24. The drag coefficient of the Lightyear 0 is in fact very close to the Mercedes-Benz EQXX concept car's 0.170.

The low drag coefficient, combined with the EV's solar panels allows the Lightyear 0 to offer an extremely impressive range. The EV comes with a 60 kWh battery pack, paired with four electric motors. The motors produce a combined output of 172 BHP, while the battery pack alone gives the Lightyear 0 a range of 625 km on a full charge. However, in ideal conditions, the solar panels on the cars can help recoup up to 70 km of range under the sun. This means for average commutes, the Lightyear 0 could go for months before being required to charge.

Production of the solar-powered EV is expected to begin soon. The car is expected to go on sale with a price tag of around 250,000 euros. Lightyear will produce only 946 examples of their first solar-powered EV.

Source: CarScoops
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Old 21st September 2022, 16:29   #11
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

It's funny what evolution of technology makes us do. For decades, we fought for that premium parking spot with shade from trees in the parking spot. In future, we will be fighting for the parking spots with maximum sun exposure! This will also be a very handy car in the case of that inevitable Hollywood style apocalypse.

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Old 21st September 2022, 16:38   #12
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

I can't appreciate what's so unique about this car for this to be price at a quarter million Euros. To me it does not appear to be very different in function or experience of an EV one fourth it's price.
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Old 21st September 2022, 17:29   #13
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

Very encouraging to see this product making progress. Eventually if EVs have to contribute substantially to reducing of CO2 and other gases, not to mention heat, then a solar powered practical EV is the best route. It is my belief that in 20 short years this is where we will be headed. Research on solar panels is on at full throttle most especially in China. And solar panels are not only about cars but also buildings and a dozen other applications. And that is why research in this is so vigorous. Today this might seem a one off super expensive uneconomical project but projects like these are proof of concept ones. I would bet that the plug in to the grid EVs we see today will be out of fashion in 25 years. Let's revisit this statement in 2047. My very best wishes to this team.
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I can't appreciate what's so unique about this car for this to be price at a quarter million Euros. To me it does not appear to be very different in function or experience of an EV one fourth it's price.
The fact that this car can power itself from the sun without needing powerplants run on coal, hydro, nuclear etc is what is unique. What is also unique is that this is the future of automobiles as solar panel energy conversion coefficients improve. They have been improving in leaps and bounds over the last about 20 years and are likely to improve significantly further over the next 20 year making a solar roof powered car a distinct possibility.

Something I wrote on this subject a year and a half ago.
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Similarly with improvements in battery energy density, improvements in solar panels, changes in materials we can expect the cars of 2040 to look quite different to what we are used to. Solar panels for re-charging as we drive and park will almost certainly make the scene.
The car of the near future will be - Electric + Autonomous + Connected + with Solar re-charge on the go.
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Old 21st September 2022, 17:44   #14
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

And solar panels are not only about cars but also buildings and a dozen other applications. And that is why research in this is so vigorous.

My very best wishes to this team. The fact that this car can power itself from the sun without needing powerplants run on coal, hydro, nuclear etc is what is unique.
Thanks for answering the question, let me put question in another way.

A very ballpark assessment of cost of an EV with a range of 600 km would be 50-75k Euro ( +/- something). Now to add a solar roof and ability to charge the battery from solar roof is what is taking the price to quarter million Euros. I am unable to digest such a price premium for the solar charging feature both in terms of value and in terms of bill of materials for the delta functionality, unless I am grossly missing something. I can pay a premium of 5-10k Euros for such a feature, buy beyond that it is diminishing utility.

Last edited by ajayc123 : 21st September 2022 at 17:48.
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Old 21st September 2022, 18:08   #15
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Default Re: Lightyear 0: World's first production-ready solar-powered EV with 625 km range

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Originally Posted by ajayc123 View Post
I can't appreciate what's so unique about this car for this to be price at a quarter million Euros. To me it does not appear to be very different in function or experience of an EV one fourth it's price.
Very limited quantity means the economics of mass production don't play in the manufacturers favour driving up manufacturing cost which gets passed on to the customer, hence the higher cost.
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