Smart Transport

DSM and Lightyear to make solar roofs for EVs

Solar roof on Lightyear One EV prototype

High-tech mobility innovator Lightyear and Royal DSM are working together to accelerate the production of a solar-powered roof for the electric vehicle market.

The partnership aims to integrate solar-powered roofs in a variety of electric cars, vans and buses – enabling users to charge their vehicle directly with clean energy.

The partnership will start with pilot projects for customers from the automotive and public transport sector, where the integration of a solar roof could represent a smart investment.

Lightyear’s technology was initially developed for the solar panels of Lightyear One – set to be the world’s most efficient long-range solar car when it launches in 2021 – with a WLTP range of 725km.

Featuring five square meters of integrated solar cells protected by double-curved and super-strong safety glass, the solar roof captures sunlight continually whether the car is moving or stationary.

In optimized vehicles like Lightyear One, the solar roof can deliver enough energy to cover an average of 70-90% of the yearly mileage.

DSM’s Conductive backsheet is an integral element of the solar roof – enabling all the connections of the solar cells to be put on the back of the solar panel – thus making every available centimetre on the front of the module available for capturing sunlight.

Pascal de Sain, Vice President DSM Advanced Solar: “By stepping up our collaboration with Lightyear we are creating an entirely new market for ‘lossless’ high power back-contact technology – with the potential to change the face of clean mobility and make a big impact on climate change.

“We look forward to bringing more than a decade of market and scientific leadership in solar to this collaboration. Our goal is simple; to make clean, solar energy a reality for all.”

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