Dutch EV startup Lightyear finally commenced customer deliveries of its inaugural solar-supplemented model called the 0 this September. Four years in development, the aerodynamic 0 features a 60 kWh battery paired with roof-integrated solar cells that can add up to 44 miles of range per day.
Lightyear is aiming to prove the viability of solar as a range-extending feature on EVs. While the 0’s $265,000 price limits broader appeal currently, the company intends to launch more affordable models in the coming years. Lightyear’s young team gained experience by racing solar cars, so efficiency is paramount in their designs.
The Lightyear 0 has a sleek, low drag coefficient of 0.175 for maximizing driving range. It uses a rear-wheel drive electric powertrain with two motors providing a combined output of 174 horsepower. This allows the 0 to accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 10 seconds. The solar cells integrated into the roof and hood enable up to 44 miles of free daily charging depending on weather conditions.
With a full charge, the Lightyear 0 has an estimated WLTP range of 388 miles. Combining the 60 kWh battery capacity with solar charging can push the total range to over 500 miles. Safety features include laminated safety glass windows, nine airbags, and advanced driver assistance systems. The interior focuses on sustainability as well with seats made from recycled PET bottles and microfiber fabrics.
While clearly positioned as a premium model currently, Lightyear aims to eventually achieve mass market viability. The team draws inspiration from early Tesla models that paved the way for more affordable options. With continued development, Lightyear hopes to prove solar-supplemented EVs can provide consumers with sustainable and convenient transportation.