Solar-powered cars are typically nothing more than school projects for engineers but this Lightyear One electric car boasts 450 miles (720 km) of range and looks like a real car.
Looking like a cross between a Honda Clarity and the usual sleek and low-slung solar-powered powered single-seater cars, the Lightyear One will be the first of its kind to offer real-world driveability.
Solar cells are nothing new – I had a solar/light powered calculator in high school some thirty years ago. As well, all the solar-powered cars we ever see in the news are school projects. This one is different as you’ll be able to buy one and drive it every day.
The main advantage to the solar-powered the Lightyear One is that it will not rely on the charging grid so long road trips to get away from it all will possible. The car’s roof and bonnet are covered in five square meters of solar cells beneath safety glass. These cells provide up to 12 km/hour (7.5 miles/hour) of range. You will, however, have the option of plugin the car in in order to gain more range. Total range, on a full charge, is an impressive 450 miles (720 km).
This type of technology will not come cheap. 500 are expected to be built and the reservation fee is a substantial €119,000, or the equivalent of $135,000 USD. So far, over 100 are reserved and deliveries are not expected before 2021.