That theautonomy is one of the factors that has prevented, at least up to now, a more rapid and full-bodied diffusion of electric cars it is well known. The battery packs mounted on full electric vehicles generally guarantee tens of kilometers less with a single charge, thus discouraging those who use the car for long journeys.
The much longer recharging times than those required for a full tank only slows down further the transition to electric and green mobility (despite the decision of the European Parliament to ban cars with internal combustion engines starting from 2035). A solution to this stalemate is proposed by Lightyear, Dutch car manufacturer which presented its first model equipped with solar panels for “running” charging.
The solar panel car becomes reality: Lightyear 0 unveiled
Unveiled during a world premiere on June 9th, the Lightyear 0 it has been announced several times and has always been postponed. Now, however, the Dutch manufacturer (specialized in the production of solar panels) has broken the last delay and unveiled the definitive design and technical characteristics electric car with solar panels.
The entire “upper” surface of the vehicle (the roof and the two hoods) are covered by a thin layer of solar panels which recharge the battery pack both while the car is parked and while it is in circulation. According to the calculations of the Dutch technicians, thanks to solar panels it will be possible to obtain between 6,000 and 11,000 kilometers of autonomy completely free of charge. That is, thanks to solar energy it will be possible travel between 20 and 35 kilometers a day (based on the solar radiation of where you live) without having to connect the car to a power outlet.
Scrolling through the technical data sheet of the Lightyear 0 it turns out that the Dutch electric car is equipped with a 60 kWh battery pack, capable of guaranteeing a range of 625 kilometers (according to the parameters of the WLTP test cycle). Thanks to the additional autonomy guaranteed by the solar panels, the Lightyear 0 can travel more than 700 km with single charge. Charging times obviously vary depending on the power of the socket to which you are charged: they range from 32 kilometers with an hour of charging with a domestic socket to over 560 kilometers in an hour from the “fast charging” columns.
There full speed it is electronically limited to 160 km / h, while it takes 10 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h
The advantages of solar panels on cars
The decision to cover the roof and hood with 5 square meters of solar panels is not dictated by extravagance or the desire to stand out from other manufacturers. As explained by the technicians of the Dutch manufacturer, the possibility of being able to recharge the battery while driving guarantees several advantagesboth technical and practical.
In addition to the surplus of autonomy, recharging “on the run” allows you to use smaller battery packs compared to those of cars with comparable range. This translates into lower weight, optimized weight and space distribution and lower production costs.
A car not for everyone
It must be said, however, that the Lightyear 0 is definitely not an electric car for everyone. During the presentation event, the Dutch manufacturer recalled that the vehicle will be produced in only 946 specimens and the cost will be around 250 thousand euros. In short, although interesting from a technical and technological point of view, the Lightyear 0 is certainly not the electric car for the masses.
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