Bridgestone Will Equip First 'Solar-Electric' Car

April 22, 2021

The world's first long-range, solar-electric vehicle, the Lightyear One, will roll on Bridgestone Turanza Eco tires when it becomes available in Europe later this year.

Lightyear One - which will be designed and built by Netherlands-based mobility innovator Lightyear - will have a range of 450 miles. It will be directly charged by the sun through a large solar roof.

"To ensure the vehicle’s highest efficiency, Lightyear sought a tire that offered very low rolling resistance and reduced weight to preserve battery life, maximize vehicle range, and reduce environmental impact," say Bridgestone officials.

The Turanza Eco combines Bridgestone's Enliten and ologic technologies for the first time. Working together, they reduce weight "through the use of fewer raw materials throughout the manufacturing process, while cutting rolling resistance through innovative tread patterns, larger diameters, high inflation pressures and a slim design."

The tire also features enhanced silica dispersion, achieved by a new mixing technology that strips 10% from the tire's weight, "without compromising on wear mileage and grip."

In addition, the Turanza Eco will bear Bridgestone's new EV marking on its sidewall, which is applied to tires that are tailor-made for electric vehicles. The marking signifies that tires have undergone rigorous testing "to receive approval from car manufacturers. As a result, these tires support the unique features of electric vehicles and meet the car manufacturer’s requirements for battery range, vehicle control and tire wear life.

"The foundation for Lightyear One was laid during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, a 1,900-mile race across the Australian Outback that pushes the limits of technological innovation and solar-powered mobility."

Emilio Tiberio, chief operating officer of Bridgestone EMIA, says Lightyear "has impressed us with their approach to sustainable mobility ever since we saw the team take on the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, and we’re excited to play a part in the Lightyear One project. Bridgestone is committed to a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 and 100% sustainable materials by 2050 and strategic partnerships are fundamental to achieving these goals.”