Lightyear One: Dutch solar powered car can drive 710km on a single charge

Those damn Dutchies have done it again. Forget fish doorbells and artificial coronavirus-killing suns, the latest innovation to arise of the Netherlands is the solar powered car โ€” and it’s proving to be very promising.

Yep, you read that right. The Dutch company, Lightyear, has designed and successfully test-driven a solar-powered car. Five years after its conception, the Lightyear One was tested for the first time last weekend.

If the Lightyear One was likened to a baby taking its first steps, you would have to picture a baby hoisting itself to its feet and walking a marathon with the elegance and grace of Bella Hadid. The Lightyear One managed to complete a whopping 710 kilometres on the test track โ€” all while driving at a constant 85 kilometres per hour!

A tiny battery and some solar panels

What fueled this car to drive the equivalent kilometres that it would take to get to Paris without stopping you may ask? Well, it certainly wasn’t fossil fuel! The key to the Lightyear One’s successful pilot was the single charge of its 60 Kwh battery and some very sleek looking solar panels.

If that doesn’t impress you, perhaps a comparison to current electric car models will. In a press release, Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear explains that “even the most efficient electric cars in the market today consume around 50% more energy at this relatively low speed.โ€ 

This is achieved in part by the addition of solar panels to the car’s design. Hoefsloot explains that “adding solar cells to the car and gain about 45 miles (72 kilometres) of charge on a sunny day.”

Accessible to all

While the LightYear One still has many rounds of testing to go through before it hits the market, it’s looking very promising โ€” and Lightyear wants it to be accessible to all.

How accessible you may ask? The battery is the most expensive part of the car’s design, meaning that it can be relatively affordable. Speaking to AD, head of marketing at Lightyear Tessie Hartjes explains that “the smaller the battery, the cheaper the car can be.ย We want to move towards an electric car that is as affordable as possible and that costs less than โ‚ฌ40,000.ย And I don’t mean โ‚ฌ39,000.โ€ย 

Would you be eager to own one of these? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: Lightyear/Press Release

Sarah O'Leary ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
Sarah O'Leary ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions โ€” she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


  1. The solar panels are vey thin do they produce enough power in direct sunlight to run the car without battery assist? The range is awesome what would be cool is on a long stretch of open road like I-10 in west Texas to augment the system by cutting a slice in the center of slow lane with angle iron on the sides with DC power running to it from the grid similar to the railroad using current from overhead. You might get 1000km!


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