Watch out, Tesla! This solar EV prototype promises range above 700 km
Solar electric vehicle maker Lightyear recently tested its Lightyear One prototype car which drove a distance of 710 km on a single battery charge of 60 kWh for almost nine hours. The EV maker says that Lightyear One is the world’s first long-range solar electric vehicle.
The prototype car by Lightyear was taken to Aldenhoven Testing Center in Germany where it completed a drive cycle at a speed of 85 kmph. The testing was done on a single battery charge of 60 kWh. Lightyear adds that in the market today, even the most efficient electric cars consume around 50% more energy at this relatively low speed. The testing ranged from validating the yield of the solar panels, the energy consumption of the cooling system, the battery performance, the software operating the solar car and the functioning of the in-wheel motors. The EV maker stresses that the concept of a long-range solar car is a huge opportunity to change mobility as one can drive for months without charging.
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The co-founder and CEO of Lightyear Lex Hoefsloot notes that this is the company's important engineering and technological milestone as the performance of the electric car validates the former's patented technology. “This prototype has over 440 miles of range with an energy consumption of only 137 Wh/Mile at 53 miles an hour. This milestone is a great confirmation of the scalability of our business model. We are confident that in the coming months, we will be able to reach a similar level of energy consumption at highway speed. Lowering the energy consumption per mile of an EV means that you can provide a lot of range on a small battery," he adds. Hoefsloot also explains that adding solar cells to low-energy consuming cars can be an advantage as it can gain about 45 miles of charge on a sunny day.
The company shares that an exclusive series of 946 Lightyear Ones will go into production in the first half of 2022 and it also wants to explore the mass market segment from 2024.