The United Arab Emirates (UAE), recently launched the world’s first long-range, production-ready solar electric vehicle (EV), Lightyear 0, while the entire country has recently been concerned about rising petrol prices. At an event conducted at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), the Netherlands-based company Lightyear exhibited one of its most recent solar-powered vehicles, the Lightyear 0.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, along with other officials from the Dutch high-tech company and others from related industries in the UAE, revealed the Lightyear 0 vehicle. The vehicle is featured on the company’s website for €250,000. (almost Dh 900,000). The car can be ordered through the company’s website by interested customers in the UAE.
The majority of the 500 units the company initially created of its first model, “Lightyear O,” have already been sold out, according to Al Mahmoudi. Other models are also being produced by the company. The other model, called Lightyear 2, would be available for between $30,000 and $35,000 and will be soon launched, he added following the launch of the first model on 13 October 2022 in Sharjah. According to the company’s website, Lightyear 2 will be released in 2024–2025 at an affordable pricing.
The Lightyear 0 is ready for mass production and can operate without recharging for several months during the summer. It can go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 10 seconds and has a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour. UAE the third-largest solar energy generator in the world, according to STRI Park CEO Hussain Al Mahmoudi, is the perfect location to test Lightyear’s revolutionary solar technology.
The stakeholders aim to establish university research exchange programs on solar electric cars (EVs) and push legislative initiatives boosting government incentives for EVs, particularly solar-extended EVs, according to a preliminary agreement they signed in June 2022. Early around 2023, Sharjah will have the Lightyear 0 vehicle. According to media sources, the vehicle uses just 1,500 kilowatt-hours a year, which is half as much energy as the Tesla Model S, the similar vehicle in its class.
It has a 625km battery range. Additional solar range of up to 70 km per day and up to 11,000 km of solar yield annually. The car’s interior is made from recycled PET bottle materials, plant-based leather, and sustainably restructured rattan palm, making it highly eco-friendly. The driving range will vary depending on the driver’s behaviors, location, and season.
Al Mahmoudi said “UAE is an ideal place for testing solar technology. Soon, we will have different solar cars here because there is a great opportunity to develop solar products here in the region. SRTI Park bridges the gap between private, government and universities. Soon, you will see a car which did 3,000km on solar energy here. We are also bringing hydrogen car.”