According to the news on December 2, Lightyear, a Finnish solar electric car start-up company, said that the company began to produce solar electric cars, which is the world's first mass-produced electric car that directly uses sunlight to generate electricity.

  It is understood that the company's first model "Lightyear 0" is priced at 250,000 euros (about 1.85 million yuan). It is equipped with solar panels on the roof and hood. Under normal circumstances, it can provide about 70 kilometers of cruising range per day.

  Will the emergence of solar vehicles affect the current competitive landscape in the field of new energy vehicles?

Will the power battery industry be affected?

Solar cars still need power batteries

  With solar cars, is there really no need for lithium batteries?

  Lin Shi, secretary-general of the China-Europe Association for Intelligent Connected Vehicles, said in an interview with reporters that solar charging can only be used as a supplement for new energy vehicles, and lithium batteries are mainly used for battery life.

A complete reliance on solar power is unlikely.

  It is understood that due to the instability of solar power generation (no power generation on cloudy and rainy days), "Lightyear 0" is not completely powered by solar energy. Solar energy is only an auxiliary charging device. The vehicle has a built-in 60kWh battery pack with a cruising range of about 625 kilometers.

  That is to say, the "main force" supporting the driving of solar vehicles is still power batteries, and the emergence of solar batteries at this stage is still difficult to shake the status of lithium battery new energy vehicles.

In addition, solar vehicles are currently facing problems such as high cost and low power generation efficiency.

  "(Solar car) has several problems. The first is that the conversion efficiency of solar power generation is not high, and most of the solar panels are in a hard plate state. The laying area on the car will not be too large, so the power it can provide It will not be too high to support the battery life of the car. Secondly, when this solar module is installed on the car, it will also increase the price of the car." Lin Shi said.

  For example, Lin Shi said that for this electric car company in Finland, solar cars have sold more than 1.8 million. If it is similar to everyone who drives a lithium-ion battery car, it will be difficult to provide consumers with a "spend so much money to pay the bill." " reason.

  Zhang Xiaorong, president of Deepin Technology Research Institute, also said in an interview with reporters that although solar vehicles have the advantage of being "non-polluting" and can be called "the most ideal ultimate environmental protection solution", they also have high manufacturing costs and high photoelectric conversion efficiency. low defect.

Under the current technical conditions, it cannot be regarded as a mainstream product, and it is difficult to become a future trend.

  According to Lightyear CEO and co-founder Lex Hoefsloot, the company plans to produce about 1,000 "Lightyear 0" cars at the Valmet Automotive Oyj car plant in Finland, starting at a rate of one per week and gradually increasing by the second half of next year. to five cars a week.

About 150 pre-orders have been received for the model so far.

  What do you think of the company's solar car order numbers?

Lin Shi believes that the Finnish electric car company did not disclose who ordered the 150 orders, and it is possible that these publicity is just for better financing.

  Domestic solar cars that have not yet landed

  In fact, some domestic companies have already begun to explore the use of solar energy as an auxiliary charging device for vehicles.

  Zhongtong Bus once replied to investors in the 2021 online performance briefing that the company has completed the research and development of solar-powered extended-range intelligent driving buses, which have solar power extended-range and automatic driving functions, and can realize solar energy access to power batteries.

  However, in an announcement in July this year, Zhongtong Bus stated that the solar energy can be used as an auxiliary power source for the solar-powered extended-range intelligent driving bus developed by the company. At present, only prototypes have been developed, and the technology has not been commercialized.

  Lin Shi said that a few years ago, Li Hejun's Hanergy Group also proposed to build a solar car, claiming that it can travel 80 kilometers in five or six hours of light, which sounds "stronger" than the Finnish solar car, and has released four models The concept model has reached a technical cooperation with Audi.

But seven or eight years have passed, and nothing has happened about this matter.

  According to Tianyancha, Hanergy Solar Vehicle Technology Co., Ltd. was established in 2015 and is engaged in technology development, technology transfer, technical consultation and technical services in the fields of solar vehicle technology, energy-saving equipment and new energy technology.

  In July 2016, Hanergy Holding Group released four fully solar-powered vehicles with different positioning - Solar O, Solar A, Solar R and Solar L, known as "Unplugged Unlimited Driving".

  But then, Hanergy seemed to give up the idea of ​​building its own car.

In August 2017, Alta Equipment, a subsidiary of Hanergy Group, signed a memorandum of strategic cooperation with Audi on thin-film solar cell technology.

Alta Equipment will be responsible for designing solar panels embedded in the roof, which will feed solar energy into the car's electrical system to provide power for air conditioning and other configurations.

  It is expected that by the end of 2017, Audi will join hands with Hanergy subsidiary to launch the first Audi prototype car with a panoramic roof integrated with thin-film solar panels.

But then the project came to an end.

  In 2016, Tesla also deployed the solar energy business by taking over SolarCity.

Musk once disclosed that the company's engineers were asked to study the feasibility of solar roofs, but the project was later confirmed to be "not feasible."

In November 2022, according to reports from the electric vehicle industry website Electrek, Tesla canceled solar projects on a large scale across the United States, and at the same time fired some employees in its solar scheduling, planning and design departments.

  Lin Shi believes that if solar vehicles want to really develop, they must first solve the problem of power generation efficiency and be technically mature, and secondly, they need to be included in the scope of key support subsidies in various countries.

If more subsidies cannot be obtained, it will be difficult to achieve marketization at the current price.