The solar car start-up Lightyear has revealed further data on its already announced second model. The new model, with which Lightyear is targeting the mass market and whose production is to begin in 2024 or 2025, will be called Lightyear Two and is to be offered from as little as 30,000 euros.
The Dutch start-up, which emerged from the solar team of TU Eindhoven, had already announced more affordable models at the beginning of 2020 – at that time, however, a retail price of around 50,000 euros was still mentioned. That would still be significantly less than the debut model Lightyear One, for which a price of 149,000 euros was called and which is to be built in small numbers by contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive from 2022.
Plans have changed since then, as the Corona crisis and the semiconductor shortage cost their due. Instead of 2023, the mass market is now to be served by the cheaper model in 2024/2025. The Lightyear Two is to build on the technology developed for the Lightyear One. However, the company does not go into further detail.
The Lightyear One was originally announced in 2019 and is said to be a very efficient and sustainable electric vehicle through a whole range of measures. The body not only contains large-scale solar panels, but has also been consistently designed for the best possible aerodynamics. As a result, the vehicle is said to have a standard consumption of only 8.3 kWh/100km and, with a fairly small battery (which saves costs, weight and raw materials), can still travel up to 725 kilometres according to WLTP.
As Lightyear now hinted at a media event, the Two will use an even smaller battery than the One, which should further reduce the price. This should also reduce the range somewhat – Lightyear did not specify how much. But the shorter range is not supposed to be a real problem, as the Two needs up to five times less charging than a typical BEV thanks to its solar panels – says the manufacturer.
Although so many details are still unclear, Lightyear has already been able to win a major customer for the Two: Leasing company LeasePlan will take delivery of 5,000 vehicles, according to Lightyear. “LeasePlan has been a very strong partner for us since 2018,” says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear. “Today’s announcement is a testament to their commitment to our product vision to make clean mobility accessible for everyone.”
– ADVERTISEMENT –