Lightyear, the high-tech company developing the world’s first solar car, today announced Lightyear 0 will be the world’s most aerodynamic production car, with a record-breaking drag coefficient of 0.175 (Cd). The lower the drag coefficient, the better the car will efficiently use its energy, giving drivers more range and less reliance on electrical charging.
This figure was confirmed following a series of comprehensive tests conducted in one of the FKFS wind tunnels in Stuttgart, Germany, under Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) conditions. This announcement comes two months before Lightyear 0 goes into production and becomes the first solar vehicle on the roads.
In the pursuit of truly clean mobility, Lightyear puts (energy) efficiency at the forefront of its design philosophy. Lightyear 0’s energy consumption, and therefore its efficiency, depends on three key elements: aerodynamics, rolling resistance, and motors.
Aerodynamics is a major energy consumer, with air resistance increasing significantly at higher driving speeds. At highway speeds, aerodynamics account for around sixty percent of overall energy consumption. Battery range is one of the main points of concern for potential and current electric car drivers and therefore many EV manufacturers are continually optimizing their designs to improve the range.
Lightyear 0 tackles the challenge with a design that minimizes air resistance and therefore achieves a very low drag coefficient, all while keeping lift force and its balance to ensure a smooth ride for drivers. A good (low) drag coefficient means a more economical car that consumes less energy and, as a result, can drive further on one charge. The drag coefficient is a major contributor to the overall efficiency that places Lightyear 0 as a market frontrunner.
Lightyear’s Chief Technology Officer, Arjo van der Ham, said: “We are extremely proud of this incredible achievement. We had to start from a blank sheet of paper when we started developing our technology and – with a lot of dedication and hard work – we continue to push the boundaries with every milestone like this. . .”
Tests such as these are for more than setting records; they are crucial in providing Lightyear’s customers the optimal solar car. In the coming months, Lightyear’s engineering team will continue to work through a rigorous testing schedule to deliver the world’s first –and most aerodynamic– solar car this fall.