Lightyear, the high-tech company that developed the world’s first solar-powered car, announced today that the Lightyear 0 will be the world’s most aerodynamic production car with a drag coefficient of 0.175 (Cd), a record high. The lower the drag coefficient, the more efficiently the car can use its energy, giving the driver more driving range and less reliance on charging.
This figure was confirmed by a series of comprehensive tests under Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) conditions in an FKFS wind tunnel in Stuttgart, Germany. The announcement comes as Lightyear 0 goes into production and becomes the first solar-powered car on the road.
In pursuit of truly clean mobility, Lightyear has put (energy) efficiency at the forefront of its design philosophy. The energy consumption of the Lightyear 0 and its efficiency depend on three key elements: aerodynamics, rolling resistance and the motor. Aerodynamics is the main energy consumer, and as the driving speed increases, air resistance increases significantly. On the highway, aerodynamics account for about 60% of total energy consumption. Battery range is one of the main concerns for potential and current EV drivers, so many EV manufacturers are continually optimizing their designs to increase range.
The Lightyear 0 meets the challenge with a design that minimises aerodynamic drag, resulting in a very low coefficient of drag, while maintaining lift and its balance to ensure a smooth ride for the driver. A good (low) drag coefficient means a more economical car that uses less energy and therefore can go further on a single charge. The drag coefficient is a major contributor to the overall efficiency that makes Lightyear 0 the market leader.
Arjo van der Ham, CTO of Lightyear, said: “We are very proud of this incredible achievement. When we started developing our technology, we had to start with a blank slate and – through a lot of dedication And hard work – we continue to push the boundaries with every milestone like this . . . ”
Tests like these aren’t just about setting records; they’re critical to providing Lightyear’s customers with the best solar cars. Over the next few months, Lightyear’s engineering team will continue to pass a rigorous testing program to deliver the world’s first — and most aerodynamic — solar-powered car this fall.