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Lightyear: the electric car that charges itself using sunlight

19 January 2018

Dutch start-up company Lightyear, is bringing to market a four-wheel drive solar-powered car able to drive for months without charging.

Lightyear One (Credit: Lightyear)

The first vehicle, the Lightyear One, is an electric four-wheel drive car that can handle rough terrain and has a battery range of 500 miles, charged by the sun. Production of the car together with industry partners will start from 2019 onwards. Of this first version, a limited number of models will be produced. Pricing starts at €119,000 excluding tax; reservations started in the summer of 2017, 15 cars have been reserved and paid for since.

“You can think of the Lightyear One as being a completely redesigned electric car combining the best of solar cars and electric cars,” says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear. “It’s a revolutionary step forward in electric mobility. At night or on a cloudy day the Lightyear One can drive up to 500 miles on a fully charged battery, depending on your battery configuration.”

In sunny climates, Lightyear One is able to drive for months without charging 

The integrated solar cells on the roof of the car will generate enough power to recharge the battery during the day and will render charging virtually unnecessary. In sunny climates, like most parts of the US and the south of Europe, the car can drive for months without charging. For very long trips an overnight-charge using an ordinary power socket will suffice - no need for electric car charging infrastructure. 

Lightyear’s mission: Electric cars ready for every corner of the planet 

“The Lightyear One is a statement to show that electric cars are ready for every corner of the planet”, Hoefsloot clarifies. “It is the first step in our mission to make electric cars available for everyone”. Since the car is much less dependent on charging points, it is especially well suited for areas where the adoption of electric cars is held back by the lack of charging points. The attractively shaped four-wheel drive sedan will even handle rough terrain, so you can take it almost anywhere.


A limited number of cars are available via The final design and details of the Lightyear One will be unveiled early 2018 and first deliveries are expected in 2019 throughout the EU.

Lightyear wins prestigious Climate Change Innovator Award

Lightyear was chosen from competitors from 35 countries to win the Climate Change Innovator Award for their new Lightyear One solar car. The prestigious honour was awarded at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

If all US passenger cars (roughly 253 million) were replaced with a Lightyear and thus providing their own green energy, upwards of 1,175 million metric tons of CO2 could be saved. This is in line with their mission statement: “From a fossil fuelled powered light-year to a solar powered light-year.”

Video courtesy of Lightyear

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