Editor’s take: EV startup Lightyear has unveiled what it is calling the world’s first production-ready solar car. The Lightyear 0 is targeting a very niche buyer that values efficiency over performance and won’t mind paying an arm and a leg for it. Will it sell? We shall see.
The Lightyear 0 is the product of six years of planning. We first learned of Lightyear in 2019 when it announced the Lightyear One, a $169,000 EV with integrated solar panels. That project is now known as Lightyear 0 and has evolved a bit since then (and is also a lot more expensive).
According to the company, the Lightyear 0 will have an estimated range of 388 miles thanks to its 60 kWh battery pack and four independently controlled in-wheel motors. Notably, the vehicle can only generate about 43 miles of range per day from its solar panels under best-case circumstances.
Don’t expect typical EV performance here, either. The Lightyear 0 takes a whopping 10 seconds to hit 60 MPH from a stop and maxes out at a top speed of just 100 MPH. For comparison, a Tesla Model S Plaid can reach 60 MPH in under two seconds and has a top speed of 200 MPH. It’s also significantly more affordable.