An EV That Rarely Needs to Be Charged? Sign Us Up!

The Lightyear 0 is a production-ready car from a Dutch automotive startup that integrates solar panels to create an EV that charges itself for up to 7 months.
Written by Allison Stone
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jul 2, 2022
Electric vehicles
are a great alternative to gas-powered cars. They’re super fun to drive, great for the environment, and can save you tons of money on fuel and maintenance costs, but they aren’t without their caveats. 
One of the biggest drawbacks that drivers report to owning an electric car is grappling with
range anxiety
. Having a dedicated garage space to refuel at night works great for most day-to-day driving needs, but the nation’s growing EV charging infrastructure is lacking in many areas. 
Charging when you’re on the road can be time-consuming, and charging stations can be few and far between in certain areas. While companies like
Tesla
have attempted to confront range anxiety by producing cars that can go for 300+ miles on a single charge, a Dutch automotive startup
Lightyear
decided to go a different route, and create a car that you hardly have to charge at all.
The production-ready Lightyear 0 is a solar-powered electric vehicle that is capable of running for up to seven months without ever needing to be plugged in, and it could seriously disrupt the electric car industry. 

How Lightyear’s solar car works

The Lightyear 0 uses a series of curved solar panels on its roof and hood to supplement the small 60-kWh battery pack. These two features combined deliver 388 miles of range, 44 of which come from the solar panels alone. 
In theory, the Lightyear can be driven continuously for short distances of less than 44 miles so long as its able to recharge itself through solar power before ever needing to be plugged back in.
The amount of power you’ll be able to generate depends on the amount of sunlight you get, but Lightyear claims that even in low-sunlight climates like the Netherlands, you could last months between charges. In areas like Portugual or Spain, that could be closer to seven months. 
While the Lightyear 0 is one of the closest rivals to Tesla in terms of range, its relatively small battery only affords it so much power and torque. The speedometer tops out around 100mph, and the 60-kWh power pack supplies 174 horsepower and 1,269 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0-62 mph in around 10 seconds, which is fairly slow for an electric car. 

Are solar-powered electric cars the future?

While the Lightyear 0, at a starting price of around $263,000 and with a goal of producing just 946 units, this car isn’t exactly built with the average consumer in mind. Even so, integrating more renewable energy sources into EVs themselves it does show promise for a more accessible electric future. 
Lightyear also isn’t the only company working on a solar-powered electric car. German automaker
Mercedes
also recently announced plans for a concept dubbed the Vision EQXX, which can allegedly reach 648 miles on a single charge. 
17 solar cells installed on the car’s roof work in conjunction with the ultra-efficient battery pack and lightweight body to give the car its impressive range.
As electric cars grow in popularity, technology that establishes them as a more convenient, viable and reliable alternative to gas-powered cars grows with them. Making the EV experience as hassle-free as filling up at the gas pump is key to their mainstream success, why not take a similar hassle-free approach to your
car insurance
plan?
Sign up with the
Jerry
app and in less than a minute you’ll be able to compare rates for your customized policy from 55+ top companies, all for free. Use Jerry to save money without losing coverage.
icon
Compare Car Insurance Quotes For Free
Jerry automatically shops for your insurance before every renewal. Members save $872/year.
rating primary
4.7/5
Rating on App Store
Start saving money!
12,000+ Reviews
Trusted by 3.5M car owners like you
National General
Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West
National General
Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

You might also be interested

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free