This solar-powered car can travel 500 miles without having to recharge — and it only costs $40,000

The Dutch car company Lightyear made headlines across the world in December, announcing that it had begun manufacturing the first commercially-available solar car: the Lightyear 0.

While the Lightyear 0 was a revolutionary model, able to travel 43 miles daily just from its rooftop solar panels, it was prohibitively expensive and would have cost over a quarter million dollars. After entering bankruptcy in January and emerging from it in February, Lightyear has announced that it will focus exclusively on production of the Lightyear 2 — a more practical model priced around $40,000.

The Lightyear 2

This chic solar EV will be able to travel about 500 miles between charges, giving it a legendary range.

According to Lightyear, due to its aerodynamic and lightweight frame, this new model will require only one-third of the amount of charging compared to current EVs.

In addition to the amazing design and extremely long range, many will use this vehicle, instead of a gas-powered car, in an effort to fight the overheating of the planet.

But some people who oppose EVs might argue that since the electricity that is used to charge them often comes from dirty energy sources, they aren’t really a green option.

But because so much of its energy comes from the sun, the Lightyear 2’s carbon footprint is slated to be less than half that of other EV models.

While the exact dates are unclear, Bloomberg has reported that the Lightyear 2 should be available within the next three years, ushering in an entirely new era of clean transportation.

In the meantime, Lightyear has opened up this free waitlist for people to signal their interest in purchasing the second-generation model.

As more and more companies begin to produce EVs, prices will continue to fall, a trend that will likely happen with solar EVs as well. But for those antsy to get their hands on the very first (somewhat) affordable car of the future, the ball is in your court.

Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.