Coming soon to UAE: World’s first solar-powered vehicle Lightyear 0

The Emirates is the third-largest producer of solar power worldwide

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 30 Jun 2022, 1:01 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Jun 2022, 1:08 PM

You could soon see the world’s first long-range production-ready solar electric vehicle (EV), Lightyear 0, vroom through the UAE.

The Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) has announced a new collaboration with the Netherlands-based Lightyear.

The two parties are exploring a range of activities to drive sustainable mobility in the region. These could include the establishment of Lightyear testing facilities and sales and service support across the region.

Lightyear and SRTI Park — an incubation hub for tech startups — also aim to set up university research exchange programmes on solar-powered EVs. The agreement aims to advance policy initiatives that promote government incentives for EVs, including solar-extended ones.

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said the country is “pleased” by Lightyear’s decision to set up its first base outside the Netherlands at SRTI Park.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

“The UAE has created a holistic innovation ecosystem that helps companies develop and scale up trailblazing solutions. Today, it is a hub for top-notch competencies and scientific innovations, particularly those related to clean energy. This complements our nation’s efforts to combat global warming and contribute to collective climate action, and aligns with the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative,” she added.

CEO of SRTI Park Hussain Al Mahmoudi highlighted how the UAE is already the world’s third-largest producer of solar power. This makes the country the perfect place to test Lightyear’s patented solar technology, he added.

Lightyear CEO Lex Hoefsloot said: “We look forward to collaborating with SRTI Park to further move the needle of innovation in solar electric vehicles. The GCC region is of strategic importance for our company and is a strong growth market for solar electric vehicles.”


How the technology works

Lightyear, which began as a world championship winning car racing team, became experts in energy efficiency and decided to put their knowledge to good use by going into solar car technology. Six years later, the first-of-its-kind Lightyear 0 is production-ready and set to revolutionise the auto industry.

Thanks to a solar yield of up to 11,000km a year, drivers using Lightyear 0 for their daily commute (35km) can drive for months in the summer period before needing to plug into a public charger or household outlet.

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