After the Lightyear 0, the Dutch company will present a new product, the Lightyear 2, a less expensive electric vehicle with the same interesting technologies.
You probably know the Dutch company Lightyear, particularly its large solar-powered electric sedan, the Lightyear 0, which we tested a few months ago. This model will go into production this year (946 units are planned), and the company doesn’t intend to stop there, as a second model is currently in preparation.
Its name? The Lightyear 2, quite simply. This model should be based on the same philosophy as its big sister but at a more affordable price. We evoke a price of around 30 000 dollars for marketing which would intervene in 2025.
INVESTORS IN A HURRY
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 boost the Lightyear adventure. By 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:
- To allow Lightyear to produce the copies of the 0 planned at the end of the year;
- Support the development of the Lightyear 2, which the company says will benefit from much of the R&D of the Lightyear 0 ;
- The promotion of its models, on the one hand, through the Netherlands, while focusing its communication around the clean and solar car. Later, Lightyear also hopes to expand beyond the Netherlands and conquer Europe.
WHERE DID LIGHTYEAR COME FROM?
Lightyear was born out of a school project, and the company is already ten years old. It has grown tremendously, especially by demonstrating that it can drive with solar energy. The idea appealed, and many investors saw fit to put money into this ambitious start-up.
Lightyear is starting to partner with other manufacturers, not just any manufacturers, as 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. In particular, Koenigsegg will help improve the fuel efficiency of the upcoming Lightyear 2.
We’ll find a little (a lot?) of the 0 in the 2. However, the Dutch company claims it will be 10 times cheaper than the sedan. Indeed, with 30,000 dollars announced, we are far from the 300,000 euros claimed to buy a Lightyear 0.
As a reminder, the Lightyear 0 is given a WLTP range of 625 km with its “small” 60 kWh battery. But this result seems excellent since a Tesla Model 3, equipped with the same battery, claims a 500 km range.
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THE LIGHTYEAR 2, A 0 ON THE CHEAP?
What makes the difference is the presence of solar panels that are supposed to add up to 70 km of autonomy per day. As we pointed out in our hands-on, the Lightyear 0 is a little more than an electric car with solar panels added. There is real aerodynamic work around the vehicle and work also at the level of weight reduction. Lightyear announces only 1.5 tons on the scale for its large sedan, which is practically the same weight as a Renault Zoe.
This justifies the consequent autonomy of this model since, as we noted, at 110 km/h, Lightyear announces an autonomy of 560 km for consumption of 10.5 kWh. At 130 km/h (and at 10°C), the prototype would have managed to cover 400 km in a single charge. Not bad for a car whose battery is not huge.
In any case, if the Lightyear 2 manages to democratize these technologies while maintaining its price, there is a good chance that it will interest many customers who are sensitive to the idea of driving every day only thanks to solar energy, which, to top it all off, does not cost a cent.