The Lightyear One is a solar-powered vehicle coming to market
What the Future
One of the biggest problems with today's fully electric vehicles is their range.
Most of the V's you can buy right now can't go more than a few hundred miles without needing a charge.
The problem is there isn't just some giant ball of energy floating around that can charge our cars while we drive.
This week we got our first look at a prototype for the light year one Now, we first heard about this back in 2017, from Dutch startup Lightyear.
This is a solar-powered electric vehicle with an advertised range of about 450 miles.
CEO Lex Hoofsloot.
When it hits the market, it will probably be the most sustainable car on the market.
And we're super motivated To build electric cars, to build solar cars, in which people will never have to worry about charging.
Now the solar cells sit on the hood and the roof.
They're protected by safety glass that the company says is strong enough for an adult to walk on without causing any dents.
lightyear says the panel's themselves can generate enough juice to drive more than 12,000 miles a year in the right conditions.
Lead 365 days in a desert and yes it can also be charged through traditional charging stations because basically anywhere on earth you have two energy sources.
One is the sun and two is ordinary power outlet.
Company says you can expect 250 miles of range from a standard overnight charge.
Now aesthetically I think this design is pretty slick on the outside.
Though the inside definitely leaves something to be desired, especially given the price tag.
Now we'll get to that in a minute.
To increase efficiency, Lightyear designed the car to be super lightweight.
Thanks to those solar cells, that battery is pretty light and small.
So that means compared to a heavier EV, you get more range for that same amount of energy.>> So now we got to a point that we can actually match energy consumption and energy you and that is a very magical moment.
What's really interesting is the motors, instead of having just one or two that indirectly drive the wheels Light you're one will use individual motors for each wheel.
Now let your says that reduces parasitic loss through the drive train.
And the company says the one will be on sale in Europe by 2021.
So you can go on light years website and reserve one right now starting for a price tag of around $135,000 For reference, that's $7,000 more than a fully loaded Tesla Model S. Now also take that date with a grain of salt back in 2017.
Like you said we'd see the prototype in 2018 and that the one would hit the market this year.
Still, the company says it's already locked in 100 reservations.
As for the US, there's no plans to bring the one here anytime soon.
I reached out to Lightyear who told me, we do want to expand to the US market at a later stage, but for now we are working towards first deliveries in Europe.
Of course, one of the main selling points here is the carve in footprint.
While they don't pretty use some machines directly, today's electric vehicles Still rely on the grid for power.
A car that can generate its own power from the sun could theoretically be pretty close to operating carbon neutral.
Again what we saw this week was just a prototype and if the one does have the market as planned it's a long way from becoming affordable for the most of us.
Now to me the real question is, now that this concept is closer to a reality, with automakers like Tesla and GM follow suit.
Because we all know that nothing gives innovation a nudge better than a little competition.
That's it for this week, I'm Andy Altman, I'll see you in the future.
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