Lightyear One long-range solar EV unveiled

Fully electric sedan stands out from competitors with its built-in solar charging system

25 June 2019 - 18:20 By AFP Relaxnews
Five hundred 'Pioneer Edition' Lightyear One vehicles are slated for delivery in 2021.
Five hundred 'Pioneer Edition' Lightyear One vehicles are slated for delivery in 2021.
Image: Supplied

Dutch firm Lightyear has unveiled its eagerly awaited and highly original EV prototype.

This fully electric sedan stands out from competitors with its built-in solar charging system, which should - in theory - ensure boosted range, allowing cars to reach over 700km.

The Lightyear One has four independently driven wheels, each with its own in-wheel motor. The manufacturer isn't giving away much about power just yet, simply announcing the car's 0-100km/h acceleration in a modest 10 seconds.

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This EV's particular strong point is its promised range of over 700km. With its in-built solar cells, the car can partially recharge while driving. Lightyear also claims that the EV can be charged with up to 400km of range overnight from an ordinary 230V domestic power socket.

While this prototype looks particularly tempting on paper, its price could put off all but its most avid supporters. Indeed, the Lightyear One is priced at €149,000 (roughly R2.4m), with deliveries of its "Pioneer Edition" limited to just 500 units, expected in 2021.

Note that this isn't the first project of its kind. German manufacturer Sono Motors already has its Sion electric MPV up for order, which is also capable of partially recharging via solar energy. The vehicle's 250km range is much more limited but its price tag is considerably more affordable at €25,500 (roughly R415,000).


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