Lightyear claims most efficient powertrain for its $263,000 solar-powered EV

Lightyear is making bold claims about its electric car, the Lightyear 0. The EV, which you can charge from the sun through embedded solar panels, is reportedly equipped with the most efficient production powertrain in the world.

The upcoming EV uses in-wheel motors supplied by Elaphe, based in Slovenia. The partnership between the EV startup and Elaphe was announced this month, and the two wanted to coordinate their efforts to squeeze out the highest efficiency from the electric motors.

One of the advantages of Elaphe’s in-wheel motors is that they free up space in the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin.

Lightyear 0 is the production version of the Lightyear One the startup recently showcased and invited the press to take for a spin. The car will be able to last up to two months without charging.

This is thanks to the high-efficiency level designed into the car and the solar panels draping the exterior.

Even in cloudy conditions, the Lightyear can still harvest enough energy for about 20 miles per day.

However, the efficiency and independence from the grid come at a price. The Lightyear starts at a hefty $263,000, putting it in the league of the upcoming Cadillac Celestiq rumored to start at around $300,000 and the Tesla Roadster at about $250,000.

The Lightyear will be assembled in Finland by Valmet Automotive, and delivery is scheduled for around November in Europe. The company is making less than 1,000 units per year.

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Lightyear plans to release a far more affordable solar EV (SEV) that will start from $30,000, which may be years away.