Lightyear 0 promises 11,000 km of autonomy a year thanks to the sun

The Dutch manufacturer Lightyear has just unveiled the final version of the world’s first solar car: Lightyear 0. With 5m2 of solar panels on the roof and a WLTP range of 625 km with a 60 kWh battery, it is one of the most efficient cars in the world. The brand advertises 11,000 km of free charging per year thanks to the sun.

In 2019, we were able to approach the prototype of the Lightyear One, a surprisingly electric sedan that integrated solar panels on its roof and bonnet. Last December, the Dutch company announced the development of Lightyear Two using the same recipe, but at a more affordable price.

A few hours ago this Thursday, June 9, Lightyear unveiled Lightyear 0, the final version based on the Lightyear One prototype. And the least we can say is that this electric car looks really impressive, at least on paper.

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625 km autonomy with 60 kWh battery

The mark indicates a WLTP range of 625 km with a “small” 60 kWh battery weighing 350 kg. A figure comparable to the autonomy of the Tesla Model 3, equipped with the same battery, with its 510 km WLTP. This excellent energy efficiency is made possible by the use of 4 motors (1 motor per wheel) as well as its tapered shape and its length of 5 meters (5083 x 1972 x 1445 mm), which makes it possible to announce a resistance coefficient (Cx) of with 0.19. Its weight is very low for a sedan of this size with only 1,575 kg on the weight. This is especially made possible by the use of recycled carbon fiber on the exterior panels.

11,000 km free thanks to the sun

The autonomy bonus comes from its solar panels (5m2 in total) with double curvature developed by the brand, and allows, according to Lightyear, to add 70 km of autonomy per day. In details, solar panels can deliver 1.05 kW of power under optimal conditions. It would therefore take 60 hours of sunshine to fully recharge the battery.

Lightyear specifies that the solar panels make it possible to drive 11,000 km per year without recharging, on condition of driving a maximum of 35 km per day, in southern Spain. In other words, it would be possible to drive 7,400 km between two charges in Southern Europe in spring and summer, but only 2,100 km in the Netherlands in summer due to the more limited sunshine.

560 km range at 110 km / h

In practice, autonomy is granted on the motorway at a constant speed of 110 km / h for 560 km with a consumption of 10.5 kWh / 100 km. That’s a very impressive number. The prototype had managed to travel 400 km at 130 km / h at 10 ° C. It is also possible to addaero coveran option that hides half of the rear wheel, increasing autonomy by 12 km.

For charging, Lightyear reports inaccurate figures and no charging power in kW. We would thus regain, on 1 hour of charging, 32 km of autonomy on a domestic socket, 200 km on a public socket and 520 km on a fast socket. According to our calculations, DC fast charging power would be around 50kW and the car would benefit from a 22kW built-in charger to utilize public AC terminals.

A technically savvy car, not for sports enthusiasts

Lightyear 0 was not created with sportiness in mind, as the vehicle only develops 130 kW (170 hp) for a shot from 0 to 100 in 10 seconds and a speed limited to 160 km / h. Impressive instant torque of 1720 Nm should, however, offer very good increases.

The Dutch brand has also put the package on the infotainment part. There is thus a 10.1 inch screen that runs Android Automotive and two 5 inch screens (one on each side of the cabin) which replace the mirrors with two external cameras. What sips even a little more autonomy against a conventional car.

A vegan interior for an organic car

The interior has not been fully revealed by Lightyear, except for a slightly flattering 3D rendering. However, there are two heated Recarro front seats with a total of five seats with a second row of seats of three. The luggage compartment can hold up to 640 liters and we are entitled to 12 liters of storage in the center console. Leather has been banned in the car, allowing the brand to advertise a vegan car, using vegetable leather and materials made from recycled plastic bottles.

250,000 euros and deliveries in 2022

It is already possible to buy Lightyear 0 on the brand’s website at a price of 250,000 euros (excluding taxes). The first deliveries will take place at the end of the year thanks to production starting in October. The brand has planned less than 1,000 copies and we will be able to test it in a few days.


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