A Dutch company is set to begin deliveries of the world’s first production-ready solar car to customers later this year, promising months of charge-less driving in summer conditions.
Lightyear, founded in the Netherlands in 2016, is producing 949 cars with solar panels mounted on the hood and roof of the car. The energy received from the Sun would add up to a distance of 70 kilometers (43 mi) per day from the Sun.
“Electric cars are a step in the right direction, but they are dependent on the grid, which is still dependent on mostly fossil fuel energy,” Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Lex Hoefsloot said at the reveal of the 250,000-euro ($263,000) Lightyear 0 model.
“Adding a new source, the sun, adds certainty that you will always have that charge and you will have to charge a lot less often.”
The company says the car, which will be made in Finland by Valmet Automotive, allows free driving for two months in Amsterdam in the summer and seven months in Portugal.
Solar-powered cars have struggled to pass the prototype stage because solar panels are needed over large areas.
The Lightyear has traveled over 625 kilometers on a single charge from its 60 kWh battery. The interior of the car is made up of Vegan and naturally sourced materials. The company claims that the Annual solar yield of the car will be around 11,000 km.
The company plans to produce a more affordable model with a starting price of €30,000. Production will begin in late 2024 or early 2025.