As the electronic vehicle industry continues to evolve, the world’s first-ever solar-powered EV has officially entered the production stages.
Presented by Dutch manufacturer Lightyear, the company initially revealed the prototype in 2016, then called the Lightyear One. However, the production-ready version has now been donned the Lightyear Zero, with reservations in Europe opening this past February.
The innovative chrome hatchback is lined with solar panels that charge its 60-kWh battery pack. Even though it’s challenging to stand out in the electronic vehicle market, the Lightyear Zero’s key selling point is that it can be fully charged using solar energy, negating the need for charging stations so long as the vehicle receives enough sunlight. The panels have the capability to charge at 1.05 kW, which adds about 6.2 miles of range per hour.
The Zero is expected to slowly hit the market in 2023, with the company producing approximately five cars weekly by the end of 2023. Production will ramp up in the first quarter of 2023 to fulfill this objective and materialize Lightyear’s sustainability goals.
“Starting production of Lightyear 0, the first solar car, brings us a big step closer to our mission of clean mobility for everyone, everywhere,” stated CEO and CO-Founder of Lightyear, Lex Hoefsloot.
Since the vehicle will only be available in Europe, Lightyear is planning to make just 150 Lightyear Zero’s, though if worldwide availability opens up, this number could rise drastically. The initial fleet will be priced at $260,000, though the auto innovator is already planning to debut a consumer-friendly version, the Lightyear 2, priced at just a little over $30,000.