Dutch EV start-up Lightyear is already producing prototype roofs to extend the range of its Lightyear One solar car. The roofs will feature interdigitated back contact solar cells made by U.S. company SunPower and backsheets from Dutch multinational DSM.
An increasing number of carmakers and research institutes are developing concepts that combine e-mobility and solar. Thus far, range additions from in-car panels of between 10 and 60km are the limit of innovation. The Fraunhofer roof is tinted with a color that hides the cells but lets through most of the light.
The car will be road tested at Toyota City in Japan. Solar charging technology for the vehicle will then be further optimized before the vehicle goes on sale.
Since October 8 some 42 cars powered by solar energy raced their way across Australia from Darwin to Adelaide in the 30th World Solar Challenge. Delft University’s Nuon Solar grabbed its seventh win.
The Lightyear One, developed by Dutch startup Lightyear, is now available for general sale at a retail price of €119,000. Company hopes to secure 200 orders by end of year.
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