With recent projects like the UAE PASS, an app that gives UAE residents access to all types of government services through their smartphones to the establishment of the UAE National Space Program which led to the first Arab astronaut traveling to Mars, the UAE continues to reach new innovative heights. Its most recent endeavor is a collaboration with Lightyear, a Netherlands-based startup specializing in solar-powered electric cars.
The Dutch startup is currently in the process of developing the world’s very first solar-powered car, dubbed The Lightyear 0. The partnership between the UAE’s Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) and Lightyear is quite strategic; according to the UAE’s Government Portal, the UAE is known to be the third-largest producer of solar power, making it a prime location to test out the Dutch company’s technology. The partnership also involves some future projects including a plan to develop several university research exchange programs on solar-powered electric vehicles.
The first batch of Lightyear 0 is scheduled to be released Nov. 2022 in Europe. It won’t be long before it arrives in the Middle East and residents can enjoy driving for several months at a time without needing to charge the car due to its mileage of 11,000 km per year. With today’s rising fuel prices, this is a much-needed addition to the already growing list of electric cars cruising through the UAE’s streets including the BMW i3 and Tesla Model 3. This will also help propel the UAE’s mission to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 with more sustainable and climate-friendly plans underway for the upcoming three decades.
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