Solar car to recharge its batteries from sun's rays

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A solar-powered electric vehicle from the Dutch team behind the Eindhoven University of Technology's Stella cars will be able to run for months by charging its batteries using the sun's rays, according to its developers.

NETHERLANDS (REUTERS) - The Lightyear One will be a solar-powered electric car with a difference.

Its Dutch developers, Lightyear, say it will be able to charge its own batteries using the sun's rays. Depending on its battery configuration, they say its range could reach 800km.

"We remove the restriction of needing to have a charging infrastructure in order to be able to drive electric, which means you can drive electric anywhere in the world where there is an electricity grid and that's nearly everywhere already." said Tessie Hartjes, Public Relations Officer, Lightyear.

The car, designed by the team behind Eindhoven University of Technology's prize-winning Stella solar cars, will comfortably carry four people.

It will look a little different to the Stella cars but its aerodynamic shape and self-charging battery pack means it won't carry extra weight.

"The whole weight of the car goes down, the energy use of the car goes down and then you get the maximum benefit of solar panels on an electric car." said Hartjes.

The start-up says the car will be able to run all day as its solar arrays recharge its battery packs. In sunnier climates it could run for months without being plugged into the grid.

Although they are yet to release a prototype, Lightyear hopes to start production by 2019.

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