Solar Powered EV Makes UK Debut

Thu 4th Jul 2019

A solar electric car from Holland has been one of the stars of the show at this month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Lightyear’s One is a lightweight, four-wheel drive, coupe which according the manufacturers will deliver 450 miles of range on a solar-electric hybrid powertrain from 2021. While 450 miles might seem relatively fanciful compared to other EVs’ range currently on the market, Lightyear claim that their car has a much smaller battery and consumes much less energy than conventional electric cars.

Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear believes that the current environmental concerns point to sustainable fuel being the future of motoring for the next 50 years. Designing a vehicle that “gets the most out of every ray of sunshine”. Hoesfloot said: “The main goal of the car is to fill in where electric cars fall short. Research has shown that range and the lack of charging options are still the top concerns that people have when considering electric cars.

“Climate change is one of the biggest problems that we humans have faced in our history. It is such a frightening development that it is almost paralyzing. We decided to do the opposite; as engineers, we believed we could do something. Lightyear One represents a huge opportunity to change mobility for the better.”

The Dutch company plan to build 500 of the One models, with the first 100 already reserved at a cost of £106,000 to purchase. 

The car uses huge five-metre square solar panels which are located on the roof and bonnet, and for those pessimistic Brits who worry that they won’t see enough sunshine to power the One, there is an option of charging the car using a conventional domestic 230V outlet, gaining 250 miles of range.