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Solar car drives 400 kilometers at 130 km/h

Different approaches are also being pursued in the development of solar cars. The German startup Sono Motors is working on a comparatively inexpensive solution. On the other hand, the additional range generated by the integrated solar modules is relatively small. Or expressed in concrete figures: The car should cost 21,429 euros plus VAT. In return, the range increases by up to 35 kilometers per day. The startup Lightyear, on the other hand, is pursuing a slightly different claim with the vehicle One Solar. The most sustainable and efficient electric car in the world is to be built here. For the buyer, however, this also entails not inconsiderable additional costs: the car costs a whopping 150,000 euros. The approximately five square meters of built-in solar cells should also make a significant contribution to the range. The company has now examined more closely how large this can be during test drives in Italy.

Image: Lightyear

The test simulated freeway driving at a constant speed

The rides on the in-house test track of the tire manufacturer Bridgestone in Italy took place under absolutely realistic conditions. The temperatures were only around ten degrees. There were also two people and a load of twenty kilograms in the vehicle. Driving on the motorway at a speed of 130 kilometers per hour was also simulated. Of course, this does not represent a really realistic scenario. Because the speed could be kept constant on the test track. Braking and acceleration were thus reduced to a minimum. As a result, the driving style was quite battery-friendly – ​​which increased the range. A battery with a capacity of 60 kWh was used. With a comparable electric car without solar modules, this would be enough for a range of 265 kilometers per battery charge. Against this background, the test drive in Italy was a complete success: despite the low temperatures, the solar car drove more than 400 kilometers.

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The first small series will consist of 946 vehicles

The developers also emphasized that the savings would be significantly higher at lower speeds. However, the next tests should go in the other direction: A maximum speed of 160 km/h is aimed for. If everything goes according to plan, series production should start next year. But even then, a particularly large number of vehicles will not roll off the assembly line. So initially a small series of only 946 cars is planned. Due to the high sales price, this should also ensure quite high sales. If all vehicles are sold at the planned price of 150,000 euros, this would result in revenues of more than 140 million euros. The money could then be used to expand production or fund further development work. In the best case, the experience gained with the solar panels could then be used to implement the technology in inexpensive vehicles as well.

Via: The standard

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