Two companies that claim to have the solar EV roof all figured out are Royal DSM and Lightyear. Lightyear’s signature Lightyear One electric vehicle is set to launch next year with five square meters of built-in solar cells covering the roof and hood.
With that much juice, Lightyear estimates that its solar roof can provide an average of 70-90% of a car’s annual mileage.
If that sounds rather ambitious, it is. As for whether or not it sounds too good to be true, the two partners note that the 70-90% calculation applies to “optimized” vehicles.
The two companies have just announced a plan to bring the solar technology to other electric vehicle makers, so your mileage may vary. However, the technology behind the new solar roof does suggest a significant improvement in efficiency compared to past attempts.