After the Lightyear 0, the Dutch company will present a new product, less expensive, but with technologies that are still just as interesting.
If you follow automotive news diligently, you must probably know the Dutch company Lightyear, and in particular its large solar electric sedan, the Lightyear 0, which we went to try a few months ago. This model will go into production this year (946 units are planned), and the company does not intend to stop there since a second model is currently in preparation.
Her name ? Simply the Lightyear 2. This model should be based on the same philosophy as its big sister, but at more affordable prices. We evoke price around $30,000 pour marketing that would take place in 2025.
The arrival of this ambitious car is also the result of a massive new investment within the company. Indeed, Invest-NL, an organization that finances more sustainable Dutch companies and projects, has just released 81 million euros to energize the Lightyear adventure. In total and combining all the investments received, Lightyear can count on an envelope of 210 million euros to carry out its projects.
According to the brand, the 81 million euros will finance three objectives:
- Allow Lightyear to produce the copies of the 0 planned for the end of the year;
- Support the development of the Lightyear 2, which the company says will benefit from much of the Lightyear 0 R&D;
- The promotion of its models, on the one hand, through the Netherlands, while focusing its communication around the clean car and the solar car. Subsequently, Lightyear also hopes to expand beyond the Netherlands and conquer Europe.
Where is Lightyear from?
Lightyear was born from a school project and the company is already ten years old. It has experienced phenomenal growth, notably by demonstrating that it was possible to drive thanks to solar energy. The idea obviously appealed and many investors saw fit to put money into this ambitious start-up.
Better still, Lightyear is starting to partner with other manufacturers, and not just any, since the brand recently announced a new collaboration with Koenigsegg. The Swedish firm, which produces supercars, has positioned itself as an investor and the two companies will share some of their technologies. Koenigsegg will contribute in particular to improving the energy efficiency of the next Lightyear 2.
There is a good chance that we will find a little (a lot?) of the 0 in the 2. However, the Dutch firm claims that it will be 10 times cheaper than the sedan. Indeed, with $30,000 announced, we are far from the 300,000 euros claimed to afford a Lightyear 0.
As a reminder, the Lightyear 0 is given for a WLTP autonomy of 625 km with its “small” 60 kWh battery. But this result seems excellent since a Tesla Model 3equipped with the same battery, claims 500 km of autonomy.
The Lightyear 2, a 0 at a discount?
What makes the difference is the presence of the solar panels which are supposed to add up to 70 km range per day. As we pointed out in our hands-on, the Lightyear 0 is a little more than an electric car to which solar panels have been added. There is a real aerodynamic work around the vehicle and work also at the level of weight reduction. Lightyear announces only 1.5 tonnes on the scale for its large sedan, which is practically the same weight as a Renault Zoe.
This justifies the substantial autonomy of this model since, as we noted, at 110 km/h, Lighyear announces a range of 560 km for a consumption of 10.5 kWh. While at 130 km / h (and by 10 ° C), the prototype would have managed to travel 400 km on a single charge. Not bad for a car whose battery isn’t huge.
In any case, if the Lightyear 2 manages to democratize these technologies while maintaining its prices, there is a good chance that it will interest many customers sensitive to the idea of driving every day only thanks to solar energy. which, to top it off, doesn’t cost a penny.
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