When most people talk about using solar energy to power cars, they mean sourcing electricity from solar panels. But a new Dutch company has something different in mind.
Lightyear plans to launch an electric “family car” powered by onboard solar cells. It’s called the Lightyear One, in reference to an estimate that all of the world’s cars travel a combined one lightyear every year. Lightyear wants more of that mileage to be covered by electric cars. However, the company’s sparse website doesn’t offer many details on the proposed solar car.
The advantage of a solar car is being able to recharge on the go from ambient sunlight. Lightyear claims its car will be able to “drive for months without charging” at a conventional plug-in charging station. But solar panels also add cost and weight, and the need to arrange them on the car’s body in a way that maximizes sunlight absorption could also affect things like interior space. The Lightyear One will also have an onboard battery pack, providing a backup for the solar panels but also increasing weight further.
Read the full story at digitaltrends.com.