Imagine a greener and cleaner future with self-charging and solar-powered vehicles. Do you think this is impossible? Dutch solar-powered car company Lightyear has made this a reality and is all set to release a fully solar-powered vehicle by 2019. The Dutch start-up has even won a Climate Change Innovator Award recently at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas.
According to the car company, humans drive around 9.5 trillion kilometres a year and this is reportedly the same distance it takes light to travel in a year. The genesis of Lightyear’s name is based on this number, which also highlights their vision of creating a car that would allow people to travel the nearly the same distance by using only the power of the sun.
A chic-looking commercial car that would travel around 400 and 800 kilometers would soon be released in 2019. The car, Lightyear One, is said to run the kilometers on a single battery charge, and the unique selling point is that the charging would be wholly on solar energy through the solar panels installed in the car. The car is also said to have the potential of being driven at night and also in cloudy weather only on a battery charge. In this context, Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear said that it was a revolutionary step forward, and added that the first model made science fiction a reality with cars being powered using just the sun.
Meanwhile, critics argue that the concept is impractical. And, in one instance an engineer also calculated the power capacity of a car with a solar roof under an optimal amount of solar radiation, and the results were reported to be underwhelming.
However, Lightyear has made solar-powered cars a reality and are planning on producing 10 cars in 2019, for around 119,000 euros, and later moving to 100 cars in 2020.