A new Dutch startup, Lightyear, introduced its plans yesterday (June 29) to launch Lightyear 1, a four-wheel drive, solar-powered car it said will have a range of able to drive for months without charging and a battery range of 800 kilometers, roughly 500 miles. It’s a car that could challenge Tesla’s dominance in the high-end electric vehicle space.
The new company was launched by 5 Solar Team Eindhoven alumni. That team consisted of students from the Technical University of Eindhoven Solar Team Eindhoven in the Netherlands that built solar-powered cars Stella & Stella Lux. The cars were 4 seaters, road legal, solar and built to win the Cruiser Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. They won two championships with the vehicles.
“You can think of the Lightyear One as being as an electric car redesigned from the ground up to combine the best of solar cars and electric cars,” says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear. “It’s a revolutionary step forward in electric mobility because we are able to combine a great look with extreme efficiency. This first model makes science fiction become reality: cars powered using just the sun.”
The car will travel under the power of the sun and when it’s cloudy or nighttime the vehicle will rely on its batteries to offer up to 500 miles. As such, the company said the vehicle can travel for months without requiring a charge from an outside energy source. The vehicle also will use an ordinary power socket to charge its batteries overnight as needed.
“The Lightyear One is a statement to show that electric cars are ready for every corner of the planet,” Hoefsloot contends. “It is the first step in our mission to make electric cars available for everyone.”
The company will unveil the final design and details of the vehicle in 2018 and plans to start producing the vehicle in 2019. Only a limited number of the first version will be available and will start at 119,000 Euros, about $136,000 US dollars currently. The company already is taking reservations for the vehicle on its site.Tweet