World’s First Solar Car Will Hit the Road This Year, Sports Recycled Interior

There was a time when hybrid-electric vehicles were the best option for those looking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, with traditional and plug-in options offering limited electric range before falling back on a gasoline-powered engine to complete the journey. Fully electric vehicles have taken efficiency a step further, but one company hopes to show that consumers need not be done with hybrids just yet. The newest option on the block takes the hybrid concept and leverages greener technologies to make for a vehicle so efficient that, in some climates, it won’t need gas or charging for months. Enter the Lightyear 0, a vehicle concept that pairs traditional EV technology with solar panels. Dutch automaker Lightyear has been working on the 0 for the last six years and claims it’s finally ready for production, making it the first solar car concept to actually reach this crucial stage. Lightyear 0 utilizes curved solar panels along its roof and hood which can charge the car while it’s parked or even while being driven. And while the vehicle’s solar range sounds paltry at 44 miles, Lightyear breaks down the practicality of that: in certain cloudier climates, a driver with a short daily commute could go months without ever having to charge the car. But in theory, you could drive it for thousands of miles in the right conditions. 

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