Lightyear unveils its solar car prototype with a 725km range and $170,000 price tag

Lightyear unveils its solar car prototype with a 725km range and $170,000 price tag
Credit: Lightyear

Dutch automotive firm Lightyear has unveiled a prototype of the One, a solar-powered car that can travel up to 725km (450 miles) on a full charge. You can juice it up via electric charging stations, or just leave it out in the sun.

The five-seater sedan is designed to be light and aerodynamic for maximum range, so you’ll feel comfortable taking it out for long road trips. It features five square meters of solar panels beneath safety glass on its roof and hood to draw power, and four motors to power each wheel independently. Additionally, the body is crafted from aluminium and carbon fiber to keep the weight down.

The Lightyear One has five square meters of solar cells across its roof and hood, so it can draw enough power per hour for 12km range
Credit: Lightyear
The Lightyear One has five square meters of solar cells across its roof and hood, so it can draw enough power per hour for 12km range

For every hour that the One is left in sunlight, it’ll charge up to 12km in range. Traditional electric charging outlets will deliver up to 209km worth of juice per hour, while a 60kW fast charger can do up to 570km worth in an hour.

The Lightyear One can seat five adults
Credit: Lightyear
The Lightyear One can seat five adults

That sounds fantastic, but we’ll have to wait and see if Lightyear can deliver on its promise in 2021, when it intends to start shipping its cars. The One costs $170,000; you can reserve yours by ponying up $135,000 right away for one of the 500 Pioneer Edition vehicles, or get in line for the next production run by paying $21,580.

Click here to watch the launch event broadcast; a prototype of the car makes an appearance on stage at around 1:13:52.

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