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Monday, July 8, 2019

Lightyear One, the world's first long-distance solar-powered car

Back in 2015, a group of students from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) managed to make a prototype of a very special electric car named Stella Lux. And what makes it special is its ability to create its own electricity by armed with solar panels, and managed to win the World Solar Challenge in Australia at that time.
Lightyear One, the world's first long-distance solar-powered car. (Picture from: https://engt.co/2FYOReA)
And now their dream seems to be coming true to realize their mission to market solar-powered electric cars that can be legally driven on the streets.  Through an automotive startup company named Lightyear which was founded by them, recently also managed to display a prototype vehicle which is predicted to be the first long distance solar car in the world and named Lightyear One
Lightyear claims these solar cells are 20 percent more efficient than traditional model. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2FZz4w9)
This car is designed as a solution to solve problems related to traditional electric vehicles, such as lack of charging infrastructure and dirty methods of generating electricity. For that, One has been equipped with solar cells stretched from the hood up to its roof. Those solar panel stretches for 5 square meters and is covered by safety glass which is rumored to be strong enough so that adult adults can walk on it without causing dents or damaged. 

Besides that those solar panels can produce 20% more energy, and the cells in them can still work "harvesting the sun" even though some of the portion of the panel is covered by shadows.
The Lightyear One is covered with a total of five square meters of solar panels. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2FZz4w9)
While the electrical power capacity produced by the panel will vary. Lightyear said the model must be able to create an additional range of 50 to 70 km every day during the summer. While for a year, the company said that the car could produce around 700 kWh of electricity. So after being absorbed, the sun's energy will be directly converted into electrical energy to be supplied to the car's battery. 
Interior view of Lightyear One luxury saloon solar-powered car. (Picture from: https://tcrn.ch/2JruAiM)
According to Lightyear, the speed of producing energy and recharging the battery itself ranges from 12 km per hour. This means that if your car is left under the hot sun for eight hours, the battery has enough power to carry the car for a distance of about 96 km. It certainly doesn't sound too much, but it's still very significant when compared to solar panel technology in general. 

Due to the driver cannot always rely on the sun, One has also been equipped with traditional charging capabilities. In particular, Lightyear said owners would be able to reach a range of 400 km by filling vehicles overnight through regular 230V sockets.

There is no detailed information about the powertrain, but it is stated that One has four electric motors inside the wheel and a relatively small battery. The manufacturer claims that if the configuration will provide 725 km of coverage based on the Worldwide Harmonized light vehicle testing procedure, with 0-100 km/h acceleration capability takes around 10 seconds.
This impressive mileage range is made possible by extraordinary aerodynamic shapes. The company is still working to complete the design, but the current drag coefficient is estimated to be below 0.20. It is an impressive number and can be achieved using aerodynamic wheels, digital mirrors and semi-closed rear wheel openings. One also offers a sleek style and aerodynamic rear that mimics the Volkswagen XL1.
While this car is still a prototype, those Dutch startup plans to launch the production model in 2021. And the first 100 vehicles have been ordered, but there are still 400 more reservation slots available and can be ordered for €119,000 or around Rp.1.9 billion.

If You are interested in having this environmentally friendly vehicle, You able to fill those empty slots by order it now, that also means you participating in the effort to make Our Earth greener... ***  [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LIGHTYEAR | ENGADGET | THE VERGE | TECHCRUNCH]
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