WATCH | Solar car to recharge its batteries from sun’s rays

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A solar-powered electric vehicle from the Dutch team behind the Eindhoven University of Technology’s Stella cars will be able to run for months by charging its batteries using the sun’s rays, according to its developers. Reuters’ Amy Pollock reports.

The Lightyear One will be a solar-powered electric car with a difference. Its Dutch developers say it will be able to charge its own batteries using the sun’s rays. And depending on its battery configuration, they say its range could reach 800 km.

“We remove the restriction of needing to have a charging infrastructure in order to be able to drive electric, which means you can drive electric anywhere in the world where there is an electricity grid and that’s nearly everywhere already,” Tessie Hartjes, Lightyear public relations officer, saying.

The car, designed by the team behind Eindhoven University of Technology’s prize-winning Stella solar cars, will comfortably carry four people. It will look a little different to the Stella cars, but its aerodynamic shape and self-charging battery pack means it won’t carry extra weight, say Lightyear.

“The whole weight of the car goes down, the energy use of the car goes down and then you get the maximum benefit of solar panels on an electric car,” Hartjes, saying.

The start-up says the car will be able to run all day as its solar arrays recharge its battery packs. And in sunnier climates it could run for months without being plugged into the grid. Although they are yet to release a prototype, Lightyear hopes to start production by 2019.