The idea behind the Lightyear project , a Dutch company founded by some students who have was part of the Solar Team Eindhoven team that won several editions of the World Solar Challenge, & egrave; very simple and & egrave; that of using the energy of the Sun to recharge the batteries of an electric car using panels integrated directly into the car. In this way not only & egrave; It is possible to increase the autonomy of a vehicle, but also to decrease its “ dependence '' from the energy supply columns.
Starting from this idea and thanks to the skills acquired in the development of the cars for the World Solar Challenge, the Dutch startup presented in 2019 the Lightyear One, the first prototype of a solar-charged car. After several years of development we have told you about more; times over time, at the beginning of June the company & agrave; has removed the veils on the Lightyear 0, essentially the production version of the solar-powered car.
Lightyear One: solar electric car from 725 km to 149,000 euros | Video 387
Lightyear 0, the solar car makes its debut. Up to 70 km more? a day thanks to the Sun 39
Auto 09 Jun
Model which, we remind you, will be & agrave; produced in only 946 copies . For Lightyear, this car represents a kind of manifesto of the technology that & egrave; was able to develop. This is a starting point for an ambitious growth plan . What has been learned, in fact, will be; poured into a future new model, currently called Lightyear Two, which will be & agrave; much more; accessible and high-volume product .
A couple of weeks after the presentation of Lightyear 0, HDMotori & egrave; flew to Spain to get a closer look at this new solar-powered electric car. We also had the chance; to try it, albeit for a few km, to test its potential.
DESIGN AND AERODYNAMICS
MOTOR AND SOLAR CHARGING
C '? A BIT OF ITALY
We know the design of the Lightyear 0 well as we have written about this car several times. The Lightyear team, with whom we talked a lot, underlined the great work that & egrave; was made to optimize aerodynamics as much as possible , with the aim of improving the most; car efficiency possible. The result, data in hand, is; a Cx of 0.19 . For example, the choice of partially covering the rear wheels allowed to reduce energy consumption by 1.9%. The particular aerodynamic design of the wheel rims, on the other hand, has enabled a reduction in energy consumption of 3.5%. No traditional exterior mirrors . In their place, external cameras that show the images inside two mini displays in the passenger compartment.
This aerodynamic optimization work did not affect the space on board. Inside the passenger compartment 5 people can get on and travel comfortably. Furthermore, thanks to the elongated shape of the car, the trunk is very large indeed. Lightyear declares a ability; of 640 liters .
The car is was designed from scratch, starting from a blank sheet. In this project there is even a little of Italy. Indeed, the design of the car is it was created by the Granstudio of Turin . We remind you that the Lightyear 0 measures 5.083 mm length x 1.972 mm width x 1.445 mm height. The weight is of 1,575 kg.
The theme of sustainability; & egrave; then very important for Lightyear. For this, sustainable materials were used for the interior. The infotainment features a 10.1-inch touch display and OTA updates are supported.
CHARGES WITH THE SUN
Therefore, in direct current, it is; can recover up to 520 km in one hour. In any case, we have learned that in direct current, the battery can & ograve; recharge up to a maximum power of 50 kW. Speaking of efficiency, for this electric car, Lightyear declares a consumption of just 10.5 kWh per 100 km . The data even more & ugrave; interesting & egrave; that at speed of 110 km/h , the car & egrave; able to cover another 560 km with a full of energy. If these numbers are confirmed by real road tests, it will be; of a truly remarkable result.
Solar technology & egrave; obviously, the flagship of this car. Lightyear has worked hard on this front, making important steps forward over time. The photovoltaic panels are placed on the hood and roof of the car, for a total area of 5 square meters . In optimal conditions, the integrated solar system allows the battery to be recharged at a maximum power of 1.05 kW .
All this translates into the possibility; to be able to have an extra maximum of 70 km of travel per day thanks to the energy of the Sun. According to Lightyear, it is; It is possible to have an average of up to 11,000 additional km per year, obviously free. Always in ideal climatic conditions, such as those of Spain, assuming the classic average daily route of 35 km, it would be possible to drive for 7 months without having the need; to recharge.
Lightyear has announced that its solar charging technology will, in the future, also be offered to other companies and car manufacturers.
HOW DOES IT GO ? FIRST ROAD TEST
Speaking of consumption, my test is; ended with 105.5 Wh/km . A promising result that I would like to deepen with a more test; long.
How much have solar panels contributed? The test drive & egrave; was carried out at 8:20 in the morning with 21 degrees of external temperature and the air conditioning set to comfort temperature and always active. With the Sun still low , in the best moments, the panels generated a peak power of about 0.4 kW .
As mentioned at the & # 39; Lightyear; produced in 946 examples. The cost is; important and & egrave; equal to 250,000 euros . It is, as the company has pointed out, a car designed to show the technology they have been able to create.
What they have learned will be; then poured on future models which will be much more; accessible. The Lightyear Two, in fact, should arrive on the market between 2024 and 2025 at a starting price of around 30,000 euros .
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