A Solar Powered Car With Solar Panels Across The Roof Is Coming
Electronics & Gadgets  

A Dutch startup called Lightyear will soon be releasing an electric vehicle equipped with large solar panels that stretch across the roof. The solar panels will charge the vehicle’s batteries, so it will technically be a solar-powered car, although it will also have a charging port to plug into a charging station.


Each hour, the solar panels can charge the battery enough to go about 7.5 miles, which is significantly slower than plugging it into a power source. However, it is a step in the right direction and would allow drivers to slowly charge their car throughout the day.
A few hours in the sunlight on a bright day could power the car enough to drive about 60 miles. Fully charged, the batteries will be able to hold enough electricity to travel for 450 miles. One of the most interesting things about the design is that it will actually be able to charge while the car is driving. Most importantly, the solar panels are made out of a material that is very strong and will not break into small pieces in the unfortunate circumstance of a crash.
Lightyear CEO Lex Hoefsloot says that the sunlight will charge the car enough for the average user most of the time, at least for local trips.
“In the summer in the Netherlands, you probably won’t have to charge for about two months, and that’s with average driving,” Hoefsloot said.
Lightyear is a very new company that was just recently formed in 2016. The company is a partnership between several members of Eindhoven University of Technology’s team, who were previous winners of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, a competition for solar-powered cars.
Lightyear doesn’t expect to be producing any of these revolutionary vehicles until 2021, and since this is a startup that has never produced a vehicle before, there is no telling how this is going to end up. The company is currently taking pre-orders for the car, and charging a holding fee of €119,000, or roughly $127,000. In total, the car will cost an estimated €150,000 in the Netherlands, including taxes.


2016 data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) suggests that solar has already become the cheapest way to generate energy.
According to an estimate released by the International Energy Agency, solar will be the world’s primary source of energy by 2050. Recent breakthroughs in solar technology are making it more efficient and cheaper to extract energy from the sun, which in turn, is making this technology more available to the average person.
Solar power is unlike most other energy resources because there is a limitless supply. This limitless supply of power could actually cause energy prices to drop so low that anyone could afford it. Like all technology, the technology to harness electricity from the sun will continue to become cheaper as it is developed and perfected.



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