World’s first long-range solar electric-powered car enhances efficiencies with new wheels

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The world’s first long-range solar electric vehicle is due to go on sale at the end of this year with a 450-mile range (725km).

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Developed by a Dutch start-up, the car is expected to cost around €150,000 and is charged directly by the sun through a large solar roof, minimising CO2 emissions while maximising efficiency – it’s said to be up to three times more energy-efficient than alternative electric vehicles currently on the market.

The Lightyear One is also said to have the best aerodynamic coefficient of any production car to date through substantial gains in many different areas of vehicle design.

Its efficiencies have been enhanced under Lightyear’s work with Bridgestone, which has engineered tyres specifically for the model, providing very low rolling resistance and weight reduction, in order to preserve battery life, maximise vehicle range and reduce environmental impact.

The very low rolling resistance of the tyres also means Lightyear One can benefit from a lighter battery. As a result, the Turanza Eco tyres are designed to boost range when compared to alternative Bridgestone EV-specific tyres, equivalent to more than a 90kg reduction in weight.

The tyres are also the first to carry the new Bridgestone EV Marking on the sidewalls.

Bridgestone said the collaboration is the latest development in its strategy to be a global leader in advanced solutions and sustainable mobility.

Emilio Tiberio, COO & CTO of Bridgestone EMIA, commented: “Lightyear have impressed with their approach to sustainable mobility ever since we saw the team take on the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, and so we’re excited to play a part in the Lightyear One project. Bridgestone is committed to a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 and 100% sustainable materials by 2050 and strategic partnerships are fundamental to achieving these goals.”

Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear, added: “We’re particularly happy to see this collaboration between Bridgestone and Lightyear, with two companies that share a vision for future sustainable mobility coming together. The world is already experiencing unprecedented change and challenges, and through innovation and cutting-edge technologies we can work together to grasp the opportunities head on and create a more sustainable world.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.