Solar-electric hybrid, set for production in 2021, promises 450 mile range with dual-capability charging
Felix Page Autocar writer
4 July 2019

Dutch start-up Lightyear has shown off a prototype of its One long-range solar car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The One is a lightweight, four-wheel drive, coupé-style four-door, which Lightyear says will offer a range of around 450 miles on the WLTP combined cycle from a solar-electric hybrid powertrain. The static prototype was first revealed in June, and makes its public debut at the Sussex event.

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Lightyear claims the One is able to achieve this segment-leading range even with a much smaller battery than that found in equivalent BEVs, because it consumes much less energy than conventional electric cars. 

Each wheel is independently driven, minimising loss of energy throughout the drivetrain, while the use of ultra-light materials for its body construction reduces strain on the battery’s output. 

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As well as generating as much as 12,430 miles worth of energy each year from solar power, the One can be charged from a conventional domestic 230V outlet, gaining up to 250 miles of range overnight 

The car’s five-metre-square solar panels are located on its roof and bonnet, comprising solar cells integrated in safety glass so strong that, Lightyear says, “a fully-grown adult can walk on them without causing dents.”

Company boss Lex Hoefsloot said: ““The main goal of the car is to fill in where electric cars fall short. Research has shown that range and the lack of charging options are still the top concerns that people have when considering purchasing electric cars.”

The One marks the start of Lightyear’s planned solar vehicle development strategy. While reservations for the One open at €119,000 (£106,000), future models will “have significantly lower purchase prices”. 

The company also says the One’s successors will be geared towards car-sharing, with high levels of autonomy and low operating costs, as it strives to create a product range that is fully sustainable.  

The first 100 One models, of a total planned production run of 500, have been reserved already. Build is set to get underway in 2021, and Hoefsloot was keen for a working prototype to take to the Goodwood hill at next year's event.

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Comments
22

25 June 2019

I don't know how much the rear wheel spats improve the car's aerodynamics, but they do nothing for its appearance.  Likewise,the flat black wheelarch trims that make it look rather under-wheeled.  Otherwise,  not bad looking, if a bit more homespun than the Tesla Model S.

25 June 2019

...there'll be a lot of Buzz about this.

25 June 2019

Much better looking than the Tesla, shades of the Citroen C6 for me. I wonder how much juice the Photovalteic Panels generate? The Solar Constant would suggest a maximum of 5kW on a sunny day near the equator, somewhat less at at our latitudes. It is free electricty though and good for topping up during a day in the office prior to the drive home - as long as you avoid the underground car park and get a sunny spot of course.

"Pressurised container: May burst if heated"

25 June 2019
What would be the range in Britain in the winter?

4 July 2019
They have said 400+km should be realistic in winter.

25 June 2019

I'll pick up in in 2021 in an uber flying taxi.

25 June 2019

vapourware, and in such an ugly body.

Yuk, but anything is good if it converts drivers to electric but I doubt it will get anywhere near the range they claim- in fact I would say impossible using todays tech

4 July 2019
@lambo58: the 725km is the official WLTP claim so it won't be far off.

Don't forget this weighs only 1600kg, uses a 60kwh battery pack and has a CW of 0.21..

25 June 2019

Recall the Donkervoort?? Neither do I, but it caught fire. Twice... 

 

The Dutch shold stick to Sailing and Lorries (DAF); that they do very well

25 June 2019

Leslie Brooks figure of 5kW from the panels may be based on the solar constant...but it assumes the panels are 100% efficient.  Using a more realistic 15% efficiency gives 150W per square metre for a grand total of 750W from the panels.  On a sunny day.  At noon.

Recharging from domestic 230V overnight is said to give 250 miles of range.  Generally the charging limit from domestic mains is 2kW, so over 12 hours (being generous) that's 24kWh.  So it will allegedly do 250 miles on 24kWh....

What are they schmokin?

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