Until recently, the slippery Mercedes-Benz EQS was the most aerodynamic model ever with a Cw value of 0.20, but the Dutch Solar Lightyear 0 is well below that.
In their own words, Lightyear aims to have a Cw (drag coefficient) of 0.19 for their solar vehicle, clad with five square meters of solar panels, but the final air resistance turns out to be much lower in practice. After a series of extensive tests in a wind tunnel in Stuttgart as part of the WLTP smoothing process, the drag coefficient scale stopped at just 0.175.
exponential increase in air resistance
A smooth body is very important for electric cars. Air resistance increases dramatically at higher speeds. Then aerodynamics is responsible for about 60 percent of the total energy consumption. So a very low drag coefficient was necessary for Lightyear, which wanted to market a highly energy-efficient vehicle.
The confirmation comes two months before the Lightyear 0 goes into production, which means the solar vehicle from the Netherlands will be sailing close to the wind. After all: Mercedes-Benz recently revealed a very modern prototype with a drag coefficient of 0.17. However, that car, named EQXX, is a study model and is therefore not for sale. Lightyear 0 can be ordered.
More affordable model
The car, developed and built in Helmond, not only has low air resistance, but also has five square meters of solar panels on the roof, with which the car can be charged permanently. This results in a theoretical range of 800 km. The car costs €250,000 excluding VAT, but Lightyear plans to launch a more affordable model by 2024 or 2025, priced at around €30,000.
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