The First Solar-Powered Car Is In Production, But It Comes at a Hot Price

Introducing the Lightyear O, an electric car that charges on the go.

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By Jonathan Small • Dec 2, 2022

Imagine an electric car that you can drive for months without charging. That's the idea behind the Lightyear O, the first solar-powered sedan.

The brainchild of a Dutch startup company, the Lightyear O is a four-door electric car with over 50 square feet of solar panels on its hood and roof that can generate up to 43 miles worth of electricity per day while you drive.

While many electric car companies are adding more batteries to increase range, Lightyear takes the opposite approach. They want to harvest the sun's power to give more range with less battery.

Production of the first iteration of the vehicle is now underway in Finland by the same manufacturer that makes the Porshe Boxter.

"Starting production of Lightyear 0, the first solar car, brings us a big step closer to our mission of clean mobility for everyone, everywhere," Lex Hoefsloot, Lightyear's CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. "We may be the first to achieve this, but I certainly hope we aren't the last."

The company hopes to churn out five cars per week by the end of 2023.

Related: The 5 Most Luxurious Electric Cars on the Market That Will Make You Want To Skip On Gas

Hot price tag

While the ultimate mission of Lightyear is to bring solar-powered cars to the masses, the initial prototypes do not come cheap. The Lightyear O starts at about $262,000. But the brand plans to introduce a more affordable car, the Lightyear 2, by 2025.

"Due to the reduced need for charging stations, Lightyear offers a solution that can be adopted worldwide and can scale faster than current EVs. We can reach large parts of the global market years before any other car manufacturer," the company said on its website.

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief of Green Entrepreneur

Jonathan Small is editor-in-chief of Green Entrepreneur, a vertical from Entrepreneur Media focused on the intersection of sustainability and business. He is also an award-winning journalist, producer, and podcast host of the upcoming True Crime series, Dirty Money, and Write About Now podcasts. Jonathan is the founder of Strike Fire Productions, a premium podcast production company. He had held editing positions at Glamour, Stuff, Fitness, and Twist Magazines. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, and Good Housekeeping. Previously, Jonathan served as VP of Content for the GSN (the Game Show Network), where he produced original digital video series.

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