Dutch company Lightyear has partnered with Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park to possibly set up an office in the Emirate and begin sales of the world’s first production-ready solar car by early 2023.
Lightyear0 – World’s First Production-ready Solar Car
Imagine a car powered by the sun that can run for months without a recharge? Sounds great, doesn’t it. Even as we are discussing flying cars & flying bikes, this solar powered model seems crazily exciting. The perfect testimony to the theory is that 150 units of the car got sold even before it hit production.
Lightyear0 is fitted with five square metres of solar panels on the roof and bonnet. The curved solar panels draw power from the sun and add about 70 kilometres of driving range from solar energy.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park said, ““UAE is already the world’s third largest producer of solar power, making it the perfect place to test and prove Lightyear’s solar extender solutions for EVs. We are confident that Lightyear’s presence at SRTI Park will spark interest among all. This is a great day for SRTIP as we are the first in this part of the world to unveil this unique car that is making waves globally. Having Lightyear at the SRTI Park boosts the UAE’s position as a nation at the frontline of transition to sustainable mobility, and in doing so, contributes to combating climate change through innovative technologies.”
Image Courtesy: Chris Whiteoak / The National
The Dutch company will manufacture only a limited number of 946 cars, with the intention to prove that it is possible to drive solar powered cars. Most other companies so far, have failed to move past the experimentation phase. Here, the car is ready for production & sales in Europe.
Tom Selten, vice president of business development, told The National that, “We are producing a limited amount of vehicles. It will be a very exclusive car. In the next few months we want to get Lightyear0 there [UAE)]to show it’s possible and feasible to drive on solar power directly. Through a partnership with SRTIP, the company is exploring the market in the region. We are investigating if it’s feasible to have the vehicles on the road in the Middle East.”
“SRTIP have an excellent research and innovation hub for future collaborations with Lightyear. For us, it’s a potentially fruitful collaboration.”
Cars tested in Europe have been driven for more than 600 kilometres on a single battery charge and 7 months in sunny countries without a charge.