The makers of Lightyear One, a solar-powered electric vehicle, have claimed it has been able to achieve 441 miles of range (710 km) on a single charge with its prototype car during testing.
The prototype car was put to the test at the Aldenhoven Testing Center in Germany, to complete a drive cycle at a speed of 53mph on a single battery charge of 60kWh. The integral test ranged from validating the yield of the solar panels, the battery performance, the energy consumption of the cooling system, all the way to the functioning of the in-wheel motors and the software operating the solar car.
Lightyear claims ‘never before has an electric vehicle driven such a long-range on a relatively small battery’.
“After four years of hard work and in-house development, this is a very important engineering and technological milestone. It validates the performance of our patented technology and truly shows that we are able to deliver on our promise to introduce the most efficient electric vehicle. This prototype has over 440 miles of range with an energy consumption of only 137Wh/Mile at 53 miles an hour. Even the most efficient electric cars in the market today consume around 50% more energy at this relatively low speed,” said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear. “This milestone is a great confirmation of the scalability of our business model. We are confident that in the coming months, we will be able to reach a similar level of energy consumption at highway speed. Lowering the energy consumption per mile of an EV means that you can provide a lot of range on a small battery. Because batteries are the most expensive part of an EV, you can lower the purchase price of the car and achieve affordable electric cars with a lot of range that doesn’t need a lot of charging. Low-energy consuming cars can also benefit a lot more from adding solar cells to the car and gain about 45 miles of charge on a sunny day.”
The conducted full drive cycle test is a crucial step to verify and validate all the assumptions of the vehicle’s performance including being able to drive for months without charging. Beyond the validation of the technical performance of the car, other upcoming tests are related to the homologation process such as the crash tests and an official WLTP drive cycle test.
An exclusive series of 946 Lightyear One’s will go into production in the first half of 2022. Lightyear wants to address the mass market starting from 2024.