(TMU) — Dutch startup company Lightyear is challenging the idea that Tesla and the array of electric cars being pumped out by the automotive industry are the future of sustainable transportation.
The company has just introduced the world’s first solar-powered long-range vehicle—a futuristic five-seat sedan teeming with solar panels on its exterior, called Lightyear One.
Lightyear was born out of Solar Team Eindhoven, based out of Eindhoven University of Technology, and has been seeking to capitalize on its technology since 2012. The company was founded in 2016 after enjoying an influx of grants and investments following their exemplary work in various solar vehicle races.
The Lightyear One prototype was introduced last week to a small audience of investors, partners, customers and media outlets, but has already secured 100 orders to be filled by 2021.
Co-founder and CEO Lex Hoefsloot said:
“This moment represents a new era of driving. Two years of dreaming, thinking and working hard have led to this milestone, which is a giant leap towards achieving our mission of making clean mobility available to everyone.”
The Lightyear One sports an aerodynamic form similar to the 1980s Citroën CX and a unique wheel motor system that does away with the need for a transmission, granting the vehicle more space for a larger battery.
The company is aiming to follow the laws of physics so that the plug-in car can get “the most out of every ray of sunshine,” according to a press release.
The company added:
“The main goal of this project is to fill in where electric cars fall short, because research has shown that range and the lack of charging options are becoming the top concerns to most people when considering electric cars.”
The car allegedly has only half of the energy consumption needs of similar cars on a battery that’s only two-thirds the size of the Tesla S but with much greater range in ideal conditions.
The roof and hood are covered in five square meters of integrated solar cells in durable safety glass. The car is also constructed using light, high-tech materials that fulfill passenger safety standards, according to the company.
Lightyear One can also be plugged in, charging up to 248 miles at night from any household electrical outlet. The company claims that the car can drive nearly 500 miles (800 kilometers) on a single charge provided it has sufficient sunlight for the solar panels, and 250 miles in circumstances where it can’t receive a solar charge.
While the car is initially priced at around $135,000—a steep price that may appeal more to luxury consumers than popular markets—Hoefsloot is sure that advancements in solar cars will eventually lead to a drop in prices. The company already has a lower-priced model in the works.
And with low operating costs per mile plus its minimal environmental footprint, Hoefsloot is sure that the Lightyear One may help reduce global CO2 emissions caused by private transportation vehicles.
“This will prove to be our most important tipping point in the near future, and it will pave the way for a car fleet that is one hundred percent sustainable.”
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.