Sharjah: Lightyear 0, the world's first long-range production-ready solar electric vehicle, has arrived in the UAE at the SRTI Park, Sharjah.
It was unveiled at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) by Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, as part of a Memorandum of Understanding between SRTIP and Lightyear, the Dutch high-tech company developing the world’s most aerodynamic production car, with a record-breaking drag coefficient of 0.175 (Cd).
The lower the drag coefficient, the better the car will efficiently use its energy, giving drivers more range and less reliance on electrical charging.
This figure was confirmed following a series of comprehensive tests conducted in one of the FKFS wind tunnels in Stuttgart, Germany, under Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) conditions. This announcement came two months before Lightyear 0 goes into production and becomes the first solar vehicle on the roads.
The unveiling of the car at STRIP follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two sides to boost Lightyear’s growing international presence outside of the Netherlands, and reflects the rising international importance of Sharjah in enabling development of sustainable mobility solutions through the SRTI Park.
The two parties will explore a range of activities to drive sustainable mobility in the region, including the establishment of Lightyear testing facilities and sales and service support across the region. With an educational component at the core of the two companies, Lightyear and SRTI Park aim to set up university research exchange programmes on solar-powered EVs, and advance policy initiatives which support government incentives for electric vehicles, including solar-extended EVs.
CEO of SRTI Park, Hussain Al Mahmoudi said: “This is a great day for SRTIP as we are the first in this part of the world to unveil this unique car that is making waves globally. Having Lightyear at the SRTI Park boosts the UAE’s position as a nation at the frontline of transition to sustainable mobility, and in doing so, contributes to combating climate change through innovative technologies. UAE is already the world’s third largest producer of solar power, making it the perfect place to test and prove Lightyear’s solar extender solutions for EVs. We are confident that Lightyear’s presence at SRTI Park will spark interest among all countries in the region to embrace EVs.”
In the pursuit of truly clean mobility, Lightyear puts energy efficiency at the forefront of its design philosophy. Lightyear 0’s energy consumption, and therefore its efficiency, depends on three key elements: aerodynamics, rolling resistance, and motors.
Aerodynamics is a major energy consumer, with air resistance increasing significantly at higher driving speeds. At highway speeds, aerodynamics account for around sixty percent of overall energy consumption. Battery range is one of the main points of concern for potential and current electric car drivers and therefore many EV manufacturers are continually optimizing their designs to improve the range.
Lightyear 0 tackles the challenge with a design that minimizes air resistance and therefore achieves a very low drag coefficient, all while keeping lift force and its balance to ensure a smooth ride for drivers. A good (low) drag coefficient means a more economical car that consumes less energy and, as a result, can drive further on one charge. The drag coefficient is a major contributor to the overall efficiency that places Lightyear 0 as a market frontrunner.
Lightyear is on a mission to bring clean mobility to everyone, everywhere. Through its energy-efficient design and integrated solar cells, Lightyear aims to eliminate the two biggest concerns for electric cars - charging and range. This allows motorists to drive up to eleven thousand kilometers per year with the power of the sun, depending on the climate. The fast-growing company was founded in 2016 and currently employs over 500 people. The team comprises a mix of young talent and experienced names from the automotive and technology industries. In 2019, Lightyear launched its first driving prototype, and, in June 2022, the company unveiled its production-intent vehicle, the Lightyear 0, which is scheduled to go into limited production in fall 2022. The subsequent, high-volume series, Lightyear 2, is slated to hit the roads in 2025.