Everything You Need to Know About the Debuting Lightyear 0

EV startup Lightyear revealed its first solar-powered electric vehicle, dubbed Lightyear 0, at an event this week in the Netherlands. The vehicle, which Lightyear describes as production-ready, has 388 miles of range, 44 miles of which are derived from solar power alone.


The Lightyear 0


The Lightyear 0 is the product of six years of research and development from its engineering team. That said, it doesn’t look too dissimilar from the sleek sedan prototype first revealed by the company in 2019. The specs are a little more down to earth: 388 miles versus the prototype’s 450 miles — but the overall shape and design of the vehicle appear mostly unchanged.

The inclusion of solar panels, which is rare in the automotive space, is what makes this vehicle stand out. The Lightyear 0 features five square meters (53.8 square feet) of “patented, double curve solar arrays,” allowing the vehicle to charge itself when it’s driving around or just sitting in the sun. Someone who has a daily commute of just under 35km (21 miles) could conceivably drive for months without having to plug the vehicle in for recharging.


Fast Charging Capabilities


Lightyear isn’t the only company staring at the sun for inspiration. Aptera — a California startup that crashed in the aftermath of the Great Recession — was recently resurrected and is still plugging away. German startup Sono Motors is also working on a solar-powered electric car. Mercedes-Benz’s Vision EQXX concept includes a solar roof array of 117 cells. And Toyota has promised an optional solar roof for its recently released BZ4X electric SUV.

The company was founded in 2016 by a team of engineers who had competed together in the World Solar Challenge, a race held every few years in the Australian outback that’s meant to advance the idea of solar-powered cars.

Lightyear says it will only make 946 units, with each selling for €250,000 (about $263,262 USD). That high asking price could also be a tough sell. For that money, you could probably buy a top-of-the-line electric car and install solar panels on your house and still have something remaining. Plus, the increased power output of your panels could mean your EV is technically more solar-powered overall.

10 Upcoming Electric Vehicles that can Potentially Disrupt the EV Market

With sustainability being the new culture of every industry, eco-friendly practices in automobile and manufacture industry has become a trending module. Today, the auto industry is undergoing a paradigm shift due to the carbon neutrality goals in North America, Europe, and China, and top automakers are preparing a massive ZEV onslaught to bring down their average emissions.

2022 has already become the year with the highest number of new electric car concepts, world premieres, and market launches. More than 60 production EVs are debuting or launching for customers this year, and unsurprisingly most are SUVs. Many of the new electric cars 2022 will see debuting and/or coming to the showrooms will be models designed from the outset to run solely on electric power.

In this blog, we have curated a list of upcoming electric vehicles that could potentially disrupt the EV and the autombile market altogether.


1. Aiways U6


The Aiways U6, the Chinese brand’s second EV, will be an SUV coupe. Positioned above the U5 SUV, it will be 4,805 mm long, 1,880 mm wide, and 1,641 mm tall, with a 2,800 mm wheelbase.

The U6 will reportedly be available with an ‘AP4000’ electric motor that generates 160 kW (214 hp) and 315 Nm (232 lb.-ft.). Developed indigenously, this motor will allow accelerating from 0-62 mph in less than seven seconds. Reports say that the range of the U6 will be 650 km (404 miles). The electric SUV coupe will have a top speed of 160 km/h.


2. New Audi e-tron


The 2022 Audi e-tron is more than a facelift if reports are to be believed. Expect it in showrooms in H2 2022.

The Audi e-tron, which broke cover three years ago in September 2018, will receive its mid-life facelift in 2022. New batteries, energy-saving motors, and enhanced recuperation will likely increase its range to around 600 km or 373 miles on the WLTP test cycle. It is rumored that the car could take the name Audi Q8 e-tron.


3. New Audi e-tron Sportback


Audi recently conducted winter testing of the new e-tron Sportback S at KALT 1, the secret winter testing facility of Volkswagen Group in Sweden. Image Source: Audi

The Audi e-tron Sportback will get its facelift along with the Audi e-tron. It will receive the same technical updates, and its WLTP range will likely increase to more than 600 km/373 miles.


4. Audi urbansphere concept


The Audi urbansphere concept is one of Ingolstadt’s longest models and it supports Level 4 autonomous driving. Audi has showcased the new China-focused urbansphere concept car. The electric vehicle was developed by design teams based out of Ingolstadt and Beijing. A highlight of the EV is its Level 4 autonomous driving capability, for which Audi is working with CARIAD, VW Group’s software arm.


5. Audi Q5 e-tron


The Q5 e-tron, arriving on the market this year, is aggressively priced and has three-row seating, but it is clearly a China-only exercise at this time.

The Audi Q5 e-tron is the brand’s latest attack on the Tesla Model Y. The mid-size electric SUV is developed as a luxury equivalent of Volkswagen ID.6 on the same MEB platform. Unlike the MLB-evo-based e-tron, the Q5 e-tron offers three-row seating in a 2+3+2 or 2+2+2 layout. Packing an 83.4 kWh battery pack, the first-ever Audi-badged three-row EV provides a CLTC range of 560 km (348 miles).


6. BMW 3 Series Electric (BMW i3 sedan)


BMW buyers in China now have another compelling electric sedan option to choose from thanks to the BMW i3 sedan.

The first-ever pure electric BMW 3 Series (BMW i3) is exclusive to China. It comes in a single eDrive35L variant which is 10 cm longer than the regular 3 Series. The electric sedan features a single motor RWD set-up, making 282 hp and 295 lb-ft. BMW offers a 66.1 kWh battery (net capacity) that provides a CLTC range of 327 miles.


7. BMW i7


The BMW i7 will feature an unusually large kidney grille with an illuminated surround and split headlamps with the upper light elements made of crystal glass.

BMW Group’s biggest EV debut this year will be the BMW i7, the pure electric sibling of the next-gen BMW 7 Series. The full-size electric sedan will compete with the Mercedes EQS and the Tesla Model S.

On March 16, 2022, the Media Day of the BMW Group Annual Conference 2022, BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse said that the i7 will be the most powerful variant of the next-gen BMW 7 Series family, which the company will unveil on April 20, 2022. BMW Group CFO Dr Nicolas Peter added that the i7 world premiere will be held in the same month.



8. BMW iX M60


The BMW iX M60 is not a new model technically, just another variant of the BMW iX. However, being the first BMW M model designed as an EV from the outset, it’ll be a significant launch deserving to be on our list. The iX M60 sports two motors generating 532 hp and 749 lb.-ft. of torque. Engaging the Sport mode boosts the power to 610 hp for ten seconds, while Launch Control allows temporarily increasing the torque to 811 lb.-ft.


9. BMW iX1


The BMW iX1 would become the cheapest BMW electric car later this year, following the discontinuation of the i3 in the summer.

The next-gen X1 will be available as a pure electric vehicle. The all-electric variant, BMW iX1, will serve as an indirect successor to the i3, the production of which will stop in July 2022. Reports speak of two iX1 variants: iX1 eDrive20 FWD and iX1 eDrive30 AWD.


10. BYD Sea Lion


As per Chinese media reports, the BYD Sea Lion is a new midsize electric SUV competing with the likes of the Tesla Model Y, Nio ES6, and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Internally called BYD UX, it hits the company’s domestic market in the third quarter (July-September 2022). It will likely be cheaper than most rivals, with prices falling in the CNY 200,000-250,000 (USD 31,491-39,363) range, positioned above the BYD Yuan Plus.


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