Lightyear One is inching ever closer to production, but it’s not quite ready yet. It promises to be one of the longest-range EVs on the market thanks to various engineering tricks to increase its efficiency, as well as the huge solar roof that also helps. Recently the manufacturer announced that the One had driven 441 miles or 710 km using just 60 kWh.
The aforementioned solar roof also contributed 3.45 kWh to help it reach the stated range, according to Electrek. This was achieved in controlled conditions, around a test track at an average speed of 53 mph or 85 km/h. According to Lightyear, the vehicle averaged 137 Wh/mile or 8.5 kWh/100km, way better than any EV currently on the market.
It’s still being tested, though, and the company says it now wants to fine tune its ability to remain very efficient even at highway speeds. Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear says that
After four years of hard work and in-house development, this is a very important engineering and technological milestone. It validates the performance of our patented technology and truly shows that we are able to deliver on our promise to introduce the most efficient electric vehicle. Even the most efficient electric cars in the market today consume around 50% more energy at this relatively low speed.
The Lightyear One will still undergo a lot of testing and homologation before it’s ready to reach customers. It also still needs to be crash-tested and it has yet to receive its official WLTP range rating, two very important stages before its market launch.
Probably the biggest draw of the One has to be the idea that if you don’t drive that much on a daily basis, you may never really need to charge the vehicle aside from when you take it on longer trips. We look forward to learning more about this vehicle and we hope to get a chance to drive this very unique vehicle that is set to enter production next year.
The plan is to build exactly 946 examples in the first half of 2022, and eventually ramp up production sometime around 2024. There are currently no other electric vehicles with such a strong emphasis on efficiency and between that and its large solar array, the Lightyear One is definitely a vehicle to look out for in the near future - there may be additional models planned too.