Lightyear One Prototype Is An Electric Vehicle That Can Be Recharged By The Sun

Lightyear has unveiled their new One prototype which is being billed as the world’s first “long-range solar car.”

Designed to solve problems related to traditional electric vehicles, such as a lack of charging infrastructure and ‘dirty’ methods of producing electricity, the One has been equipped with solar cells on the hood and roof. The solar panels span an area of 53.8 square feet (5 square meters) and are covered by safety glass which is reportedly strong enough that a “fully-grown adult can walk on them without causing dents.”

While the amount of electricity generated by the panels will vary, Lightyear says the model should be able to create an extra 31-43 miles (50-70 km) of range every day during a summer in the Netherlands. Over the course of a year, the company says the car could generate approximately 700 kWh of electricity.

The company was tight-lipped on powertrain details, but confirmed the One has four in-wheel electric motors and a “relatively small battery.” They claim this setup will provide a range of 450 miles (725 km) according to the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure.

Since drivers can’t always count on the sun, the One has also been equipped with traditional charging capabilities. In particular, Lightyear says owners will be able to get up to 249 miles (400 km) of range by charging the vehicle overnight with an ordinary 230V socket.

Part of the reason for the impressive range is the One’s extremely aerodynamic shape. The company is still working to finalize the design, but the current drag coefficient is estimated to be under 0.20. That’s an impressive figure, but it was achieved by equipping the car with aerodynamic wheels, digital side mirrors and semi-blocked off rear wheel openings. The One also boasts streamlined styling and an aerodynamic rear end that mimics the Volkswagen XL1.

Also Read: Sono Motors Sion Is A Solar Panel-Covered EV That Costs €16,000

While the car is still a prototype, the company plans to launch a production model in 2021. The first 100 vehicles have already been spoken for, but there are still 400 open reservation slots which can be booked for €119,000 ($135,352 / £106,618).


more photos...
  • donald seymour

    This is on point. This is how we are supposed to develop vehicles.

    • exeptor

      I agree. Even if this specific car doesn’t really make it we can easily say that this is the way of thinking.


  • Mike anonymous

    This is cool. Eco friendly (apart from the wood) materials inside, beautiful design outside. This is the kind of thinking we need in the automotive world. A Vehicle that runs on Sunlight and (actually) Clean & natural energy.

    I LIKE this.

  • robotlogic

    It’s a great looking car. I think their daily solar charging range claims are highly inflated, especially for the Netherlands.

    • Even if a fraction would be the reality, it would cover my whole annual needs. That’s unbelievable good!

  • eb110americana

    It makes more sense to me, to invest that money into fixed solar panels on your house, which you can use to charge your car if you wish. When exposure is at its greatest, energy is perfect for running AC during peak hours. So even if you charge at night from the grid, at least it is during off-peak hours, so you’ve still saved yourself (and the grid) more. And you can park in your garage or in the shade. A small solar panel is a good idea to run a small fan to pre-cool the car when parked in the sun though.

  • Carenthusiast

    The silhouette reminds me of Merc IAA concept

  • GT

    Great interior

  • Alduin

    What will the year two look like? This looks way better than the Tesla model 3.

    • Bash

      This looks way better than any Tesla .

  • If by some miracle this makes it to market and does as it promises, look for your favorite politicians to make sure the taxes on this thing are as high as they can hit you with. You’re not driving without paying for fossil fuels in some way.

  • Bash

    This is fantastic.

  • MarketAndChurch

    Retro, in a modern package, is making a pleasant return and I love that.

  • europeon

    Not again… People are still falling for this BS in 2019.

    Sun-tracking high efficiency solar panels can barely generate 100W per square meter in ideal conditions. What you have on the roof of a car will generate as much electricity to pay for the solar panel cost in like 50 years, the math has been done multiple times.

    • Khm. They won the World Solar Challenge with a 4 seater car against one seaters. It covered a distance of 3,022 km (1,878 mi). These guys are not joking.

      • europeon

        Those record breaking vehicles have in common with a road car as much as an F1 car has — they have round wheels.
        There are solar powered airplanes that can fly non-stop around the world, but that doesn’t mean the tech can be scaled up to be used in commercial or passenger airplanes. Same goes with cars.

        • I’m sorry but you are talking utter rubbish without looking into the company. They have used the same 4 seat layout chassis for the race as the one they have built. Watch the fullychargedshow video about Lightyear One. The solar powered airplane you are talking about was capable of taking a single person on board. Here it’s the exact same layout. They know solar power more than anybody else. Definitely more than an Internet commentator…

          • europeon

            I’m sorry but you are talking utter rubbish without looking into the company

            Yup. Physics is utter rubbish. Economics is utter rubbish.

          • A 1.65m2 solar panel produces about 320 watts of power (there are some that produce 360 or more). That’s 1 KILOwatt of energy produced in an hour for 5m2 surface. Multiply that with a couple of hours of sunshine and we get a few kWh energy produced. This is a super lightweight, extremely aerodynamic car with a 0 to 100 km/h of 10s, tweaked to be extremely efficient. I’m sure they are not very off with their calculation. It will highly depend where you park your car. If I could get even only 5km / day charged via the panels, I would probably never need to charge my car. Their claim is many times that.

          • europeon

            I’m not sure you understand how solar panels work. Those numbers are under IDEAL, test lab conditions. In real world you won’t get anywhere near those numbers. I’ve seen the vid and they claimed 1.25kw from all the panels, but that’s unobtainable even under test lab conditions because of different angle each panel is orientated. What are they doing is at best a marketing campaign and at worst a scam. All those things don’t stand a chance with a real engineer – or even someone with some knowledge of physics.

            Look, I’m not saying a car can’t be powered by solar generated power, it’s just that at this point in time is not feasible both technically and economically. You’d be better off with solar panels on the roof of you house charging the car.

          • HD

            You can have it both. I have solar panels on my house, I can have solar panels on my car. I don’t care if their claim is bloated. If the 50 to 70 km charge per day from the solar panels is only 5 (so 10 times less!), that’s still covering my daily needs (as I don’t use the car daily). Which is huge.

          • europeon

            $200k car to drive (a very slow) 5 km (debatable and very optimistic) for free each day.
            Makes PERFECT sense.

          • HD

            Actually it does. This is a luxury model and prices are going down. You know what’s the biggest luxury? Not to go to a petrol station. If I don’t even need to plug in, that’s worth a fortune to me as well. To hell with dirty energy and time wasting.

  • Liam Paul

    I can see it now. Those fools who block EV chargers will be throwing blankets over this cars or breaking them solar panels.

  • Super Rob

    If the average commute is 30 miles per day, then making a car that can recharge 35 miles while sitting in the parking lot would be awesome. We are about 50 to 100 years before there are enough tech breakthroughs to have some be that efficient in recharging.

  • enthusia

    Reading the comments, I’m surprised at how many people like this, I was expecting much more indifference and skepticism. Well, I’ll join in and say I really like it as well. Not a fan of the black plastic cladding, but other than that it looks really sleek.

Hyundai Made A Veloster Battle Car And Named It The Grappler

The Veloster Grappler is a concept study for a post-apocalyptic world…err we mean the 2019 SEMA show.

14-Year-Old Aussie Crashes Into Lamborghini Urus With A Stolen Subaru

The teenager had a pretty wild night that ended when he drove into the very expensive Italian SUV.

Jaguar I-Pace Becomes Nurburging’s First Electric Race Taxi

You can now experience the electric Jaguar I-Pace as a passenger during a fast Nurburgring lap.

Bentley Starts Production Of The New Flying Spur, First Deliveries Due Early Next Year

The 2020 Flying Spur is assembled by hand in Crewe by a team of almost 200 employees.

Here Are More Pictures Of Aston Martin’s 2020 Vantage Roadster

The 2020 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster was spotted looking fabulous on the Nordschleife.

Tesla Model S Returns To The Nurburgring With Some Wild Aero

One of the Tesla Model S Plaid prototypes features an eye-catching rear diffuser.

Volvo To Reduce Car Lifecycle Carbon Footprint By 40% In The Next Six Years

Volvo is also aiming to become a climate neutral company by the year 2040.

European Markets Will Keep Wagons Alive, Despite Slumping Sales

Data shows that station wagons held a market share of just 11% in Europe last year, compared to 34% for SUVs.

Renault and Waymo Exploring Self-Driving Paris Airport Service

Renault and Waymo are currently exploring the notion of an autonomous mobility service at Charles de Gaulle airport.

New Ram 1500 Classic Warlock Mojave Sand Arrives With A $37,040 Price Tag

The special edition truck costs as much as the Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, on which it is based.