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Lightyear to commence production of $236,000 solar car later in 2022

Lightyear announced that its $236,000 solar-powered car would go into production later in 2022, and it has revealed some additional details about the first-of-its-kind electric vehicle.

Is a solar car real? Likely, this is the question that first comes to mind when you see the headline and are unfamiliar with the world of unique, bizarre vehicles. Solar cars have been designed mainly for races, and many remain as prototypes. When this article was published in 2022, no solar vehicle had reached the production stage.

Enters Lightyear, the company aiming to make a car that can charge anywhere and anytime directly from the sun. While its upcoming model, the Lightyear 0, is an electric car, it will be different from what Tesla and its competitors have been making.

Electric cars aim to reduce carbon emissions, but the available cars still need charging stations that are connected to the electrical grid. Here is where Lightyear wants to stand apart.

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“Lightyear 0 charges anywhere and takes you everywhere, regardless of electrical infrastructure. Our cars are built for grid independence, charging from the sun or, if needed, a regular household socket. Every trip is clean, convenient and independent, powered by the journey itself,” it says about the car on its website.

It will have a range of 388 miles (only 44 miles of this will come purely from solar power) from a 60kWh battery pack and four electric motors with 174 horsepower and 1,269 lb-ft torque capacities. The car’s interior is made entirely from biodegradable materials like microfiber upholstery, plant-based leather, fabrics made from recycled bottles, rattan palm wood trim, and insulated particle foam.

According to the makers, Lightyear 0 will be able to go from zero to 62mph in 10 seconds and have a top speed of 100mph. It will run on Google’s Android Automotive software.

The company competes with Aptera, Sono Motors, Mercedes, and Toyota, all of whom are also working on solar panel roofed cars. Lightyear could face the challenge of selling its car at the high price of $260,000+ but, given how enthusiastic high-tech car lovers are, they may surprisingly pull it off.

I am definitely rooting for them.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.