Lightyear One: Commercial Electric Car Powered By Solar Cells

The era of the electric car soon will take place around the world. Various technologies to support the performance of electric cars are effectively and efficiently continue to be developed. Electric cars are very closely related to the energy storage device. There are two energy storage technologies commonly used, namely batteries that store electric energy and fuel cell that stores energy in the form of hydrogen gas. Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or battery-powered electric car capable of producing electricity directly from the electrochemical reaction. Lithium ion batteries is still a popular choice as a source of electricity for the BEV, though metal-air batteries start to get into the market as a replacement for lithium ion batteries in BEV.

To traverse great distances, BEV requires the addition of a battery which results in a significant increase of the weight of the vehicle. Different case with perangakat energy storage in the form of hydrogen gas changed the hydrogen gas into electricity using a Fuel Cell. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) or hydrogen gas-powered electric car using hydrogen gas and oxygen from the air to produce electricity without any contact directly. This type of fuel cell that is generally used on electric cars is a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). Advantages fuel cell is when distant crossroads, the weight of the vehicle is not increased in signfikan.

Read also: Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) – From Bioetanol-fueled electric car to the power plant of household Scale

Figure 1. Comparison of BEV and FCEV [1]

On January 11, 2018, the electric car called the One Lightyear using solar cells as an energy source has won the competition "Climate Change Innovator Award". Lightyear One designed by a start-up company origin Netherlands named Lightyear to prove that solar cell-powered electric car can be implemented in real and mass-produced [2]. The hallmarks of Lightyear One than BEV and FCEV is the source of the electricity produced comes from sunlight so as to minimize the use of the charging station, charging EV (electric vehicle). On the word, Lightyear One can be recharged by sunlight, standard household power sockets, standard EV charging points, and EV fast charger. Lightyear One ever comes by battery as energy storage device electricity to drive at night. Solar cells are used at One Lightyear is first generation solar cell (monocrystalline Silicon) made of silica. Through the process of photovoltaic, solar light is transformed into electrical energy which will then become the source of electricity for Lightyear One. The distance that is able to reached by Lightyear One by using the battery is at a range of 400 – 800 km [2].

Read also:-comparison of each generation of solar cells-solar cells Perovskite (PSC): Organic solar cells of the future  

Figure 2. (a) Mission One Lightyear [3] (b) a map of the spread of a battery recharge stations [3]

Lightyear one has the mission to use the Sun's energy directly as a source of energy without the need to go through the processes of energy conversion. In addition, the number of rechargeable battery stations available across the world is still very slightly marked orange on Picture 2b. As a result the battery-powered electric cars have difficulty to travel long distances because the battery recharge stations least. By using solar cells, Lightyear One capable of traveling up to tens of thousands of kilometers. If the solar cells are used as a power source for the vehicle and recharge the battery, then the company has calculated how much distance it takes suitable climate country or city which was spent being shown by the following table.

Table 1. Harvesting solar energy according the city climate that affect mileage [3]

Baca juga:
City Mileage (km)
Amsterdam 10,000
Paris 11,000
Madrid 17,000
Los Angeles 19,000
Chicago 14,000
Houston 16,000
New York 14,000
Washington 15,000
Honolulu 20,000
U.s. Virgin Islands 21,000

In the evening, Lightyear One must save energy in the batteries so One Lightyear still able to continue to travel. In addition, any One Lightyear rechargeable battery recharge stations. One Lightyear batteries can be recharged using a standard household power socket (3.7 kW): 40 km, standard EV charging points (10 kW): 110 km, and EV fast charger (75 kW): 180 km [3]. Refill process is performed for an hour that can reach a distance of appropriate types of content station he repeated.

Start-up Lightyear would produce 10 One Lightyear unit by the end of 2018 and will be marketed in the year 2019. Price of 1 Lightyear unit One is the €119,000 or the equivalent of 1.9 billion dollars [4]. The start-up is targeting in the year 2020 will sell 100 units Lightyear One. Name One Lightyear of distance traveled for a year of light as it passes through a vacuum. One light year is equivalent to 9.5 billion km. The expectations of the company is in the future, humans will be able to travel as far as 1 year light with the use of solar energy. How do Warstek best friend is interested to have it?

Read also: India and Germany will be producing an electric-powered Train solar cells and hydrogen Gas


[1] Thomas, C.E.S. 2009. Fuel Cell and Battery Electric Vehicles Compared. Virginia: H2Gen Innovations, Inc.

[2] Gohd, c. 2018. A Fully Solar-Powered Car May Be Hitting The Road By 2019. (retrieved January 23, 2018)

[3] a Lightyear. January 23, 2018)

[4] Mahon c. 2018. The First-Ever Fully Solar-Powered Car Hits The Road in 2019. (retrieved January 23, 2018)

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