The first solar cars from the Helmond-based company Lightyear will roll off the assembly line in November. The electric car has a range of over six hundred kilometers. Lightyear was once started by Eindhoven TU students.
With the help of built-in solar panels, you can drive more than a thousand kilometers. The company presented the final version of the Lightyear 0 on Thursday. The price tag: €250.000.
The five square meters of curved solar panels on the backside of the car characterize the very first Lightyear. With these alone, the electric car can drive about seventy kilometers a day, on top of the range of 625 kilometers with the battery. You could drive up and down to work for free with solar energy in the summer months, provided you stay within a 35-kilometer radius.
In climates like the Netherlands, that would be possible for two months. In Spain or Portugal, for example, it should be possible for as much as seven months, according to the company.
At Lightyear in Helmond, they are very proud that they have managed to produce a solar car. Former students of the TU/e in Eindhoven founded the company in 2016. “Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for since we, the five founders, outlined in a kitchen our dream to build the most sustainable car on the planet,” co-founder and CEO Lex Hoefsloot tells Omroep Brabant.
“We had to start with our technology from scratch and with a clean slate.”
Lex Hoefsloot, founder Lightyear. He continues: “In 2016 we only had an idea. Three years later, we had a prototype. Now, after six years of testing, (re)design, and countless obstacles, Lightyear 0 is proof that the impossible is actually possible.”
The initial name of the car was Lightyear One. Now they marketed it as 0. “We wanted the identity of the car to be indistinguishable from any other brand. We had to start with our technology from scratch and with a clean slate. As a result, Lightyear 0 fits better as a name for this car,” said a spokesperson.
In total, they plan to make a maximum of 946 units of the luxury model. They will cost €250.000. Earlier the sales price was set at €150,000, but the Lightyear 0 has become a ton more expensive due to increasing costs.
Lightyear promises to come up with an affordable version of the solar car in two to three years. The price is expected to start at 30,000 euros. It is not yet clear to what extent the cheaper version will differ from the luxury version. It is also not yet known whether the car, like the 0, will be produced in a factory in Finland.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.