Second-generation solar EV sedan from Lightyear will have a long driving range and hopes for mass production.
Dutch start-up Lightyear has previewed its second-generation solar-powered electric car, which it says will make EV ownership more accessible, convenient and affordable.
Named the Lightyear 2, the sedan was announced at CES in Las Vegas. It will follow the Lightyear 0, which recently entered production at the Valmet Automotive factory in Finland.
Lightyear has also opened a waiting list for the car, which it claims will cost less than €40,000 (AUD$62,000).
Set to go into production in 2025, the 2 will be sold in right-hand drive in the UK but not Australia, and will also go on sale in Europe and the US. Lightyear is targeting 100,000 deliveries per year.
Range stands at a claimed 800km. Lightyear also said the 2 will have half the lifetime CO2 output of a conventional battery EV, having the smallest carbon footprint of any car on the market.
Powertrain, battery and performance details haven’t yet been revealed, but the 2 is expected to be based loosely on today’s 0, which has a motor on each wheel and a 60kWh battery, allowing for a leisurely 0-100km/h time of 10sec and a 998km range.
“[The] Lightyear 2 will fast-track our mission of delivering clean mobility to everyone everywhere,” said Lightyear boss Lex Hoefsloot. “This is the first EV that allows consumers to prioritise sustainability without compromising on practicality.
“By harnessing the power of the sun, [the] Lightyear 2 elevates the electric driving experience and reduces reliance on strained electricity grids. In fact, while Lightyear 2 vehicles require less charging from the electricity grid than a conventional EV, they also flip the script by providing clean energy back into the grid.”
Lightyear has claimed the 2 needs three times fewer charges than a conventional EV, with its aerodynamics playing a significant part in achieving a lofty claimed range and drag coefficient of 0.175Cd.
The design of the 2 has been optimised for aerodynamics and to capture as much solar energy as possible from panels on the bonnet, roof and boot. The car’s solar panels are claimed to add 69km to its range.
Moving down the side the door handles are flush with the bodywork to reduce drag and the wheels feature a closed-off design. The rear features no spoiler to ensure smooth airflow.
Lightyear launched the 0 in 2022 after six years of development and testing. The aero-optimised, limited-run saloon commands a starting price of £216,983 (AUD$382,000), with just 946 examples to be made.