UAE: Dh900,000 solar car launched in Sharjah

Called Lightyear O, most of the 500 units of world’s first long-range solar vehicle have been sold out



Photos by M Sajjad
Photos by M Sajjad
by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Thu 13 Oct 2022, 2:22 PM

Last updated: Thu 13 Oct 2022, 3:21 PM

The world's first long-range solar electric vehicle has been launched in the UAE.

Hussain Mohamed Al Mahmoudi, CEO of the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) launched the first version of the solar electric vehicle which has been produced by the Netherlands-based firm Lightyear.

The company initially produced 500 units of its first version “Lightyear O” and most of them have been sold out, said Al Mahmoudi.

The company has priced the vehicle at 250,000 euros (nearly Dh900,000) on its website. Interested buyers in the UAE and the region can order the vehicle from the company’s website.

The vehicle has a top speed of 160km per hour and a battery range of 625km. Additional daily solar range of up to 70km and annual solar yield of up to 11,000km.

The vehicle is highly eco-friendly as its interior is crafted from plant-based leather, recycled PET bottle fabrics and sustainably restructured rattan palm.

The company said on its website that the driving range will vary depending on driving habits, location, and season.

“There are other models that the company is producing. The other version – Lightyear 2 – will be more affordable in the range of $30,000 to $35,000 and will soon be introduced here,” he said after the launch of the first model in Sharjah on Thursday.

The company’s website stated that Lightyear 2 will be rolled out in 2024-25 at an affordable price point.

Testing in the region

Al Mahmoudi revealed that the Park is helping the company to raise funds from the region.

“In addition, we are going to test some of the technology related to this car in this region through our universities and students,” he said, adding that a research centre would also be set up in Sharjah in partnership with Lightyear.

“UAE is an ideal place for testing solar technology. Soon, we will have different solar cars here because there is a great opportunity to develop solar products here in the region. SRTI Park bridges the gap between private, government and universities. Soon, you will see a car which did 3,000km on solar energy here. We are also bringing hydrogen car,” he added.

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