Solar car can travel 710 kilometers on one battery charge


Solar car Lightyear One: Long range even without solar cells. (Image: Lightyear)

The Lightyear One solar car developed in the Netherlands achieved a range of around 710 kilometers in a test drive – and that with a comparatively small battery.

The Dutch startup Lightyear, which emerged from a solar car project at the TU Eindhoven, has been working on its electric car with solar cells for four years. The Lightyear One was presented in May 2019, the starting shot for the first models for 2020 has been announced. With a little delay, the solar car should now go into production in spring 2022. With the results of a performance test of the prototype, Lightyear has now made people sit up and take notice.



Over 700 kilometers with a 60 kWh battery

On a test track in Aldenhoven, Germany, the Lightyear One achieved a range of around 710 kilometers. The solar car was traveling at a speed of 85 kilometers per hour. According to Electrek the test lasted nine hours and the drivers were changed every two hours.

With its 60 kilowatt hour battery, the solar car actually has a comparatively small battery. In addition to the additional solar cells, Lightyear therefore relies on lightweight components, an efficient motor and an energy-saving battery cooling system. Before the solar car goes into production, Lightyear wants to tinker with the aerodynamics, the drive train and other vehicle parts in order to increase the range.

Lightyear has already declared the performance test a milestone. So far, no electric car has managed to achieve such a long range with such a small battery. The Lightyear One is said to have had an energy consumption of 85 watt hours per kilometer while driving. Even the most energy-efficient vehicles would currently use around half more energy, soft Lightyear CEO Lex Hoefsloot.

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Lightyear One: Solar cells only brought 40 km extra

Incidentally, the additional solar cells were not even responsible for the long range. Because it was quite cloudy on the day of the test, they only contributed around 3.4 kilowatt hours. According to Lightyear, this corresponds to a range of around 40 kilometers. 70 kilometers should be possible on sunny days. Then Lighyear One could have traveled around 740 kilometers.

The Lightyear One should go into production in the first half of 2022. Then an exclusive series of 946 vehicles will be built. Buyers: inside, however, have to dig deep into their pockets. Golem Sea the electric car with solar cells will cost almost 150,000 euros. The first 500 vehicles (Pioneer Edition) can be pre-ordered for a deposit of 120,000 euros. More Lightyear One will then come onto the market in 2024.

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