Lightyear was recently scouting the U.S. market and presenting the prototype of its first solar electric car, the Lightyear One, in California and at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas.

In December, the car was seen, among others, by former Tesla CTO J. B. Straubel (see video below from 0.47-0.50), who is a well-known home solar power supporter.

Our attention was caught by the most recent news about the plan of a next, higher volume, more affordable solar electric car, as the Lightyear One is limited to 946 copies and cost in Europe €149,000 (including VAT).

The more affordable Lightyear solar electric car is planned for 2023, with a price tag of around €50,000 ($55,500).

The company intends to focus on the technology and making its cars very efficient, while production as high as over 100,000 cars annually would be outsourced.

Well, it would be great to achieve such a level, but taking into consideration what we saw from other startups for over more than a decade, it sounds extremely optimistic.

"By scaling up its core technology Lightyear expects to be ready to start high volume production of more than 100,000 cars per year around 2023. The projected sales price can be as sharp as €50,000 ($55,500) on these future models. This ambitious goal is in line with Lightyear’s mission: it is a company founded to generate a positive impact through technology innovation."

Lex Hoefsloot, CEO Lightyear said:

“We are convinced that this is the path to accelerate our scale, live up to our full impact and take our responsibility: Clean mobility for everyone, everywhere,”.

Gallery: Lightyear One prototype

Lightyear One specs:

  • range of 725 km (451 miles) WLTP
  • energy use 83 Wh/km (134 Wh/mile) WLTP
  • roughly 60 kWh battery
  • around 1.25 kW of photovoltaic cells
  • acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 10 seconds
  • all-wheel drive, 4 independently controlled electric motors, advanced torque vectoring
  • Charging:
    - solar: 12 km/h
    - 3.7 kW: 35 km/h
    - 22 kW (3-phase AC): 209 km/h
    - 60 kW (DC): 507 km/h
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 5057 x 1898 x 1426 cm
  • drag coefficient under 0.20 Cd
  • Normal: 780 L, Extended: 1701 L, Center console: 12 L
  • Over the air software updates, Companion App, Wireless key, Apple CarPlay , Android Auto
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