Lightyear plans to ship its solar-powered car this year

Lightyear has announced plans to ship its solar-powered car, the Lightyear 0, this year.

The company says(Opens in a new window) that it plans to offer Lightyear 0 rides in select cities this month, start producing the vehicles this fall and deliver the first cars to consumers in November.

These vehicles will be fitted with solar panels on their hoods and roofs to limit the time Lightyear 0 owners have to spend charging the vehicles. According to Lightyear, “The optimized solar roof and holistic design means the car can drive for weeks or even months without recharging.”

The company says drivers in cloudy climates who travel about 22 miles (35 km) a day could drive “up to two months” without charging their vehicles; that average time between charges reaches “up to seven months” for Lightyear 0 riders in sunnier locations.

Lightyear says it’s also trying to build its first vehicle as sustainably as possible. The interior is said to be “vegan and eco-friendly, with vegetable-tanned leather, fabrics made from recycled PET bottles and sustainably restructured rattan palm wood decor elements.”

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The company has also used recycled carbon fiber materials for the exterior and is trying to further minimize the Lightyear 0’s environmental impact by allowing it to be “plugged into a regular household outlet” rather than requiring the use of charging stations or dedicated adapters.

The Lightyear 0 is available now via the company’s website(Opens in a new window). It turns out that a solar-powered car won’t come cheap: the price starts at around $263,000 (€250,000 excluding VAT) before the vehicle is configured. Lightyear did not say if or when it plans to release the car outside of Europe.

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