Fuelling up could be as easy as finding a sunny car spot

Fuelling up could be as easy as finding a sunny car spot

By Pamela Jolly  February 17th, 2023

A mass-produced electric car with an inbuilt solar recharging capability. That’s what the team at Lightyear are planning to deliver in late 2025 with the production of Lightyear 2; the newest version of their electric vehicle.  


Created by members of the 2013 and 2015 winning Eindhoven team of the World Solar Challenge, the annual solar car race between Darwin and Adelaide, Australia can be credited with a small but important role in the development of the technology. The challenge provided the Dutch team with a competitive arena for Lightyear’s founding members to develop, hone and road test their early designs.   

Although the final specifications for Lightyear 2 are yet to be released, it is expected the newest version will build on the successes of earlier prototypes.  

To maximise space for solar power absorption, the last design, Lightyear 0 utilised five square metres of solar panels spread across the roof and bonnet. These panels enabled the car to absorb and convert solar energy to power 70km of daily trips without charge.  

Like many designs entered into the challenge, this commercial version has covered rear wheels to prioritise aerodynamics.  This focus on aerodynamics saw Lightyear 0 top the list for low drag in electric vehicles, beating out brands like Mercedes and Lucid.  

Lightyear 2 may, however, need to balance solar absorption and aerodynamics with car length considerations. At 5083mm in length, Lightyear 0 was longer than popular Australian family cars like Mitsubishi Outlander’s measuring 4695mm and Toyota’s Rav 4 at 4600mm.  In a country with so much sunshine, Australian drivers stand to benefit from advances in electric vehicles like this using solar technology.   

Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Pamela Jolly

Pamela is a Marketing Communications professional with over 10 years experience working for both agencies and organisations in communications, travel, finance and retail industries. Pamela loves to be in nature riding a bike, skiing, appreciating the trees at her local park or exploring wild places abroad with her family.

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