Dutch electric vehicle maker Lightyear partners with Bridgestone for the world’s first long-range solar electric car

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In the latest development, Bridgestone has inked an exclusive partnership with Netherlands-based mobility innovator Lightyear

Notably, Bridgestone has engineered tyres specifically for Lightyear One, the world’s first long-range solar electric vehicle. Lightyear One will hit test tracks in Q2 2021 and will be commercially available by the end of Q4.

37 per cent people are skeptical

According to the recent research from Bridgestone, around 50 per cent of European drivers consider acquiring a fully electric vehicle, while 37 per cent are still skeptical, due to concerns around efficiency and limited range.

Lightyear One addresses these concerns as it offers an unprecedented range of 725km. The electric vehicle is three times more energy-efficient than the alternative electric vehicles currently on the market. 

The vehicle is charged directly by the sun through a large solar roof, minimising CO2 emissions and the charging needs of the user while maximising efficiency.

Custom-engineered Turanza Eco tyres

Besides the best aerodynamic coefficient and technologies, Lightyear has sought a tyre that offered very low rolling resistance and weight reduction, in order to preserve battery life, maximise vehicle range, and reduce environmental impact.

As a result, Bridgestone developed custom-engineered Turanza Eco tyres for Lightyear One, combining its lightweight ENLITEN and ologic technologies for the very first time.

According to Bridgestone, the technologies reduce weight through the use of fewer raw materials throughout the manufacturing process, while cutting rolling resistance through the innovative tread, larger diameters, high inflation pressures, and slim design.

Benefit from lighter battery

The Turanza Eco tyres are designed to boost range when compared to alternative Bridgestone EV-specific tyres, equivalent to more than a 90kg reduction in weight.

Furthermore, the tyre’s silica dispersion has been improved by applying a new mixing technology. There is a 3.6kg (around 10%) overall reduction in the tyre’s weight per vehicle, without any compromise on wear mileage and grip.

The Turanza Eco tyres will bear the new Bridgestone EV Marking on the sidewalls, for the first time. 

Virtual Tyre Development technology 

On top of that, Bridgestone utilised its Virtual Tyre Development technology which enables accurate modelling of a tyre’s performance without having to physically produce and test it, saving up to 40,000 kilometres in real-life outdoor and fleet testing.

The foundation for Lightyear One was laid during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, a 3,000km race across the Australian Outback that pushes the limits of technological innovation and solar-powered mobility.

Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear, adds: “We’re particularly happy to see this collaboration between Bridgestone and Lightyear, with two companies that share a vision for future sustainable mobility coming together. The world is already experiencing unprecedented change and challenges, and through innovation and cutting-edge technologies we can work together to grasp the opportunities head-on and create a more sustainable world.”