There has been a wave of innovations in renewable energy. The auto industry is not left behind either as a Dutch start-up, Lightyear has recently unveiled a solar powered EV named Lightyear One, which it plans to start delivering to consumers in 2021. The car company was founded in 2016 by ex-members of Solar Team Eindhoven, a team of engineering students who won the solar-powered World Solar Challenge race in 2013, 2015, and 2017.
The Lightyear One prototype is sleek with five square meters of solar panels covering its roof and bonnet and can charge the car’s battery with up to 12 km of range an hour. Lightyear claims these solar cells are 20 percent more efficient than traditional ones, and they’re encased in safety glass to protect them from damage. The team claims a range of 725km which would surpass the market leading 595km range on the Tesla model S if true
Considering the slow rate of charge that you can get from the sun, the Lightyear One prototype can as well be charged like a traditional electric car for quick top-up. It will support up to 60kW of fast charging, giving it 507 km of range per hour of charge. The car has a total of four electric motors, which will allow it to accelerate from 0 to 100 kmh in 10 seconds.
Electric cars are a novelty in Nigeria mainly because of the power situation of the country and as well the high asking price of these models. With solar powered models like the new Lightyear One coming into the market, more and more people may be attracted to the idea of driving an electric car. Carbon emissions from petrol and diesel powered vehicles contribute significantly to air pollution and can be curtailed with an increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road.