There’s a lot of buzz around a new car called the Lightyear One. Mostly because it’s powered by the sun.
The electric vehicle was designed by a team of engineers who are the defending champions of the World Solar Challenge race in Australia.
The sleek five-passenger four-door is primarily a plug-in electric with a claimed 450 miles of range (on the European test cycle), but it is also equipped with solar panels on the roof and hood that can generate enough power to charge the battery pack at a rate of 7.5 miles per hour.
It’s not the first vehicle with this feature. The Karma Revero is equipped with solar cells, but they’re only capable of providing about 2 miles worth of electricity per day.
The Lightyear One has an electric motor for each wheel, but takes 10 seconds to accelerate to 62 mph, which is a leisurely pace that pretty much any car on sale today can beat.
The same can’t be said for the price, which is set at $170,000 for the first cars expected to be built in 2021 at an as of yet undisclosed location. No plans for U.S. sale have been announced.