Tesla Model 3 gets a solar roof thanks to Lightyear

Jun 19, 2020 03:30 PM ET
  • A Tesla Model 3 has been customized with a solar roof as part of Lightyear's solar cars and truck advancement program.
Tesla Model 3 gets a solar roof thanks to Lightyear
Image: electrek.co

We have actually been reporting on Lightyear for a couple of years currently.

The startup first captured our interest because it drew out of Solar Team Eindhoven, a group of design pupils from the Technical University of Eindhoven (Netherlands) that have actually been competing worldwide Solar Challenge with their Stella and also Stella Lux, power positive solar cars-- suggesting that they can generate even more power than they take in.

After being rather successful in the competitors, they determined to transform their experience structure solar cars for the race into a startup structure solar cars for customers.

In 2019, they introduced their initial vehicle: The Lightyear One.

At the introduction, we noted that the electrical vehicle's specifications were impressive, however the cost had us a little concerned.

However, the growth of such a vehicle might lead to advancements in solar combination on cars, which has actually thus far been restricted.

Lightyear is introducing today its initial 2 research study vehicles to examine their solar modern technology.

They integrated Sunpower's Maxeon solar cells on the roof of a Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen Crafter LCV:

Hitting the roads today, Lightyear launched two Research Vehicles with its signature solar modern technology. The business has furnished its solar innovation onto a Volkswagen Crafter LCV and perfectly incorporated a solar roof onto a Tesla Model 3. Phoned number 005 and also 006, specifically, these 2 research study automobiles are the latest advancements in a collection of platforms, offering to confirm Lightyear's technology and style options. The automobiles can be seen driving around in the surroundings of Lightyear's Headquarters, situated in the city of Helmond, the Netherlands.

Below's a video clip of the Tesla Model 3 examination lorry with their solar roof innovation:

Lightyear defines its examination program with the Model 3 and Volkswagen Crafter LCV:

With their incorporated solar modern technology, the Lightyear Research Vehicles will assist to show the added worth of integrated solar panels on vehicles, as they drive about determining solar yield. The lorries will certainly provide additional real-world data on resonance effect, shock absorption and also waterproofness. This testing is considered essential to ensure a secure, dependable and long lasting solar system that will certainly last the life time of Lightyear's autos as well as of other automobiles that use the solar roofs.

The startup prepares to deploy even more test automobiles with progressively even more technology of their very own on the cars.

By the end of the year, they intend to have a test lorry No. 7 with Ligthyear's very own solar, in-wheel motor, and also battery modern technology.

It's fascinating that they selected to install their system on a Model 3 given that Tesla nearly did it itself.

In 2017, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed that he pushed his Tesla engineers to explore integrating solar cells on Model 3, yet they ended that it had not been worth it at the time.

Two years later, points have actually transformed.

After the launch of the Cybertruck, Musk said that Tesla's brand-new electrical pickup will certainly have a solar roof option that will add 15 miles of range per day.

Electrek's Take

Possibly Tesla might find out something from Lightyear's project due to the fact that this combination looks incredibly good.

I still think that if you want to power your electric auto with solar, it's probably better to power your residence with solar and also charge your cars and truck there, but that's not offered to everyone.

Likewise, there's something interesting concerning the idea of your vehicle creating its own energy, however that's constantly been an issue with installing solar cells on autos-- they do not generate that much power.

The surface area is just not big enough and they are not always in a great setting to obtain good sun exposure.

Nonetheless, solar cell efficiency has been significantly enhancing over the last few years, and if you have a reliable electrical cars and truck with nicely incorporated solar cells, you can in fact obtain a couple of solar miles per day.

I am starting to be delighted about the possibility of this technology being more generally released as an alternative in the next couple of years with Lightyear, and also obviously Tesla with the Cybertruck.

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