Solar-powered cars have been in the works for years, but a new model promises to be the most efficient yet. The car is said to be able to "drive for months without charging", which could make a big dent in our reliance on fossil fuels. With solar technology becoming more and more affordable, it's only a matter of time before we see these cars on the roads. Lightyear claims its car will allow customers to “drive for months without charging”, and hopes to deliver the first vehicles to customers by mid-2022.
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Why is this important?
In theory, an very efficient electric car equipped with highly efficient solar panels could drive forever without charging. The need for an expensive and advanced charging infrastructure becomes obsolete. Well, we are not quite there yet, but this new car from Lightyear can drive the entire year on solar energy, it only needs a few battery charges during the dark and cold winter months. "We have achieved an energy consumption of 141-watt hours per kilometer. What this means is that on one charge, you’d be able to drive for over 400km. For example, that‘s from Amsterdam all the way to Luxembourg,” said Megan Parfitt, vehicle test coordinator at Lightyear. Comparing that to other vehicles on the market right now, that’s about one-and-a-half times further than a directly-comparable vehicle can do with the same battery size... It shows we’re well on our way to achieving our target of being the most efficient car on the market, not just in legislative cycles but also in real-world conditions that the customer will experience.”
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