KATWIJK, Netherlands – Lightyear today introduced a prototype of its long-range solar car today to a crowd of investors, customers, partners and media members. The company also said future models will be provided to autonomous and shared car fleets as the unit cost comes down.
Founded in 2016 by the winners of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (Solar Team Eindhoven), Lightyear has developed its prototype for the long-range solar car in just two years. Lightyear One has been engineered to optimize efficiency and safety, with a longer battery range than competitors, and the ability to charge whenever it’s in the sun.
“This moment represents a new era of driving,” said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear. “Climate change is such a frightening development that it’s almost paralyzing. We decided to do the opposite; as engineers, we believed we could do something. Lightyear One represents an opportunity to change mobility for the better.”
Hoefsloot said that future models will have a “significantly lower purchase price. In addition, future models will be provided to autonomous and shared car fleets, so the purchase price can be divided amongst a large group of users. Combined with the low operating costs of the vehicle, we aim to provide mobility for a low price per kilometer.”
Depending on the climate, the company said drivers could go up to 20,000 km per year powered by the sun. The electric car is designed with integrated solar cells. The company has raised €20 million from investors, customer reservations, and grants.