Amsterdam – During a recent event in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, Lightyear unveiled the next generation of its new electric car, which can be driven for long distances based on solar power.
In May 2018, the Dutch company announced for the first time that it was creating a solar-powered car, in contrast to other major emerging companies, led by the American Tesla.
This at the time confirmed the completion of the discussion of the first hundred copies of the model, which made its first appearance on the roads at the end of last year with 500 copies. This vehicle, which is more than five meters long, has a driving range of 625 kilometers, thanks to its reliance on a 60 kilowatt-hour battery. The consumption figure is 10.5 kilowatt hours per hundred kilometers.
The car, which weighs more than 1.57 tons, relies on a photovoltaic system integrated in the car’s outer body, to supply the battery with the power needed to power four engines with 170 horsepower and a maximum torque. of 1720 Nm.
Thanks to this power, the Electric Lightyear Zero accelerates from standstill to 100 kilometers per hour in 10 seconds, while its top speed is at the threshold of 160 kilometers per hour. The interior of the five-door engine is based on sustainable materials in the interior and space for five passengers, with a luggage space of 640 liters.
In addition, the developers provided a 10.1-inch touchscreen, an upgraded navigation system, a superior sound system, rain sensors and camera-based rear-view mirrors.
The company explained in a report on its electronic platform that its four-wheel drive Lightyear icon relies on four motors mounted on the hub of the wheels, powered by electric power, which comes from solar cells, enabling the ability to to travel a whole week or even a month without the need to charge.
Depending on the type of battery, the car, which is manufactured in collaboration with the German development company ADIG on a single charge, is supposed to have a range of 800 km in the future.
The charging process can be done according to the technical specifications of the car by connecting to electrical outlets, or by fast charger. The new car is scheduled to be launched on the market next November, in a limited production of 946 copies, at a price from 250 thousand euros.
Specialists in the world of environmentally friendly vehicles confirm that the future of this type of vehicle and mobility in general lies in the use of solar energy and its exploitation to the maximum extent possible.
This issue is sparking a wide-ranging debate mixed with optimism about the possibility of taking advantage of solar technology in cars manufactured as standard, and not just on models that can be presented at exhibitions.
Some people think that this type of vehicle uses the sun as a secondary energy, and not as a primary energy to supply motors with the energy needed for operation. For those who believe that these cars do not move entirely on solar energy, there are experiences that have emerged over the past few years, and this is in line with the direction of governments to adopt the carbon footprint in this industry.
Many countries are expecting the rise of solar-powered legion cars, which will turn the page on internal combustion vehicles forever.
This technology is expected to change the form of the conflict, especially with the growing interest in electric vehicles, which are supposed to take advantage of solar energy to operate it in the future.
Solar technology can be applied to general transport vehicles, which will benefit from solar panels to charge it continuously throughout their day and store some of the energy in large batteries suitable for working at night.
One idea behind this is Squad Mobility’s small golf carts, powered by solar power.
The top speed of this eco-friendly vehicle is 45 km per hour and can transport two people, with another version having a top speed of 80 km per hour.
German company Sono outperformed all its competitors when it announced last August that it would launch its new solar-powered Sion electric cars by the end of this year.
The car, which has a design that mimics classic bus models, is powered by an electric motor with a power of 120 kW, which is equivalent to 163 horsepower, with a maximum torque of 290 Nm.
The designers provided the car with solar cells on the roof and sides, as it works to treat direct sunlight and diffused light, for example to be able to capture the light reflected from the facades of houses.
The battery capacity is 35 kWh, while the driving distance is 505 km thanks to the solar panels on the car’s body, which generate electric power. The maximum speed is at the point of 140 kilometers per hour. The company’s creativity did not stop there, but the car, priced at 25.5 thousand euros, can charge its sister with electricity through the Sono application to determine the amount of power.
The company’s start with this innovation was in 2016 when it developed the first model of a car covered with solar panels, and it can travel 115 kilometers with just one charge of the solar-powered battery.
And many scientific efforts are still stopping at the borders of some problems to spread this technology, including the problem of collecting solar energy and storing it in the car for use at night or under the clouds.
Companies have tried to overcome the problem by providing the car with a battery to store solar power, which can provide the car with the necessary energy from sunset to sunrise the next day, but this battery increases the weight of the car.