Paul van Gerven
15 May 2020

Lightyear and DSM are partnering up to take Lightyear’s solar panel roof to the electric vehicle market, including buses and vans. After market research, the companies plan to start pilot projects with car manufacturers and public transportation organizations. “Integration of a solar roof might be a smart investment in these sectors,” the partners state in a press release, pointing to range limitations and dependence on charging stations.

Lightyear One prototype
Lightyear unveiled their first prototype last year. Credit: Lightyear

Lightyear developed the solar roof for the Lightyear One, an electric car that extends its range by feeding off solar energy. Alternatively, it doesn’t need to be plugged in as often as regular electric vehicles. The Eindhoven University of Technology spinoff claims its first model, scheduled to be released in 2021, will have a range of 725 km. On a yearly basis, it would need to get only 10-30 percent of its ‘fuel’ from the grid.

The 5 square meter solar roof incorporates DSM technology, ie a conducting backsheet that allows electrical connections to be placed at the backside. This means more room for solar cells at the front, as well as decreased electrical losses, thus increasing efficiency.