In what promises to be a very excited foray into the future of solar powered cards, a Dutch company has developed the first ever partly solar powered car.
The company, Lightyear, even though still a startup that was founded in only 2015, has a lot of future plans for the car.
For now, the car, Lightyear One, has solar panels that stretch all across the roof for charging its batteries.
The way it works is that it has a kind of charging port that one plugs into a charger. The solar panels are able to charge the car’s batteries at a steady rate of 7.5 miles charge every single hour.
When you compare that with charging by plugging into an outlet, it’s definitely slow. But the beauty is that you can have it charging just by parking it outside in a sunny day, either out in your office or home.
This allows the car to charge itself even when not in use… and when not plugged into any outlet.
That’s a very innovative foray into solar powered cars for sure. Just parking the car in a sunny day, at home or office, can get enough charge from the sun to enable one drive up to 60 miles.
That may not be much but it’s much more than most people even drive, to and from work, on a normal day.
Another beauty with this way of self-charging using the sun is that you may not even have to charge the car for up to two months during summer.
That’s why Lex Hoefsloot, the CEO of Lightyear said “In the summer in the Netherlands, you probably won’t have to charge for about two months, and that’s with average driving.”
This ambitious startup and business idea was founded by a group of Eindhoven University of Technology’s team members. They were so good that they even won the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge; a really special competition put together for solar-powered cars.
The car’s batteries are so powerful that they can hold as much energy to last 450 miles of driving.
Another awesome aspect of this car is that its solar panels can keep working even while the car is in motion. This allows the car to keep working and charging at the same time, enabling the power to replenish, somewhat, while in motion.
Although still in production, Lightyear expects the car to cost up to €119,000 (about $127,000) each, when completed.
They will first focus on the European market when they are done before moving into the US market, said Hoefsloot.