The automotive world is going through a revolution. Electrification is on everyone’s lips, but it is already contested. The Dutch start-up Lightyear wants to offer an electric car model with ultra-advanced aerodynamics. The car would also be able to recharge while driving with solar panels.
Far from being an ambitious project that will never see the light of day, the Lightyear 0 has just entered production. According to the designers of this car, it would be able to recover up to 70 km of autonomy simply thanks to the solar panels present on the roof.
A car at 250,000 euros
Today this first model sells for around 250,000 euros, but the company hopes to be able to convince a large number of customers and thus reduce costs. A second model is already in the works, it should see the light of day by 2025.
Lex Hoefsloot, co-founder and director of the company, was at the end of last week on the side of Finland in the factories of a subcontractor. It was here that he announced the start of production of the Lightyear 0, the very first solar electric car in history.
In a grateful speech, the CEO congratulated his teams at length for the work accomplished. “Anyone can build a prototype, but ending up on a production line like we did is a valley of death for innovation. »
In order to produce their car on a large scale, the leaders of Lightyear needed a reliable and expert subcontractor. The young company lacking in experience therefore chose to turn to Valmet Automotive, a manufacturer with more than 50 years of know-how.
Based in Finland, the name of this preparer surely means nothing to you. Yet Valmet has already worked for the biggest brands such as the Germans of Mercedes or even those of Porsche. Currently, Valmet has a large production contract with the star firm and hundreds of Class A leave Finnish workshops every day.
Lightyear 2: the real revolution?
For Lightyear, the goal is quite different. The company hopes to produce one model per week. With such a pace of work, the company could calmly turn to a second generation. “The Lightyear 2 will be a family car, the main car of a household with potential interest in markets where there is a lack of charging infrastructure” explains Lex Hoefsloot.
This still hypothetical car should see the light of day in 2025. The boss of the start-up also ensures that its selling price will be around 30,000 euros. With this development strategy, Lightyear is not inventing anything and is taking up the method that made Tesla so successful.