Last month, Dutch solar EV startup Lightyear began limited production of its first vehicle, the Lightyear 0, at Valmet Automotive's factory in Finland.
Now, the company has another big announcement to make at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, namely the opening of the waitlist for its second product, the Lightyear 2. This doesn't mean that Lightyear is already taking reservations from private customers for its new model; it simply allows them to join the waitlist and be first in line to preorder their Lightyear 2 on the website.
Speaking of preorders, Lightyear claims to already have 21,000 of them from international leasing and ride sharing partners, LeasePlan, MyWheels, Arval and Athlon.
As these first teaser images can attest, the Lightyear 2 looks very similar to the Lightyear 0, which costs a whopping €250,000 ($265,000) in Europe – before taxes. Mind you, the Lightyear 2 will only cost a fraction of that, with the company estimating a price point of under $40,000 in North America – yes, this one will be available in the US – and under €40,000 in Europe.
Lightyear says the first regions for the launch of the Lightyear 2 will be the US, UK and EU, with production expected to start by the end of 2025. The vehicle is said to offer space for five passengers, "ample" luggage room and SUV-like ground clearance.
Gallery: 2025 Lightyear 2 First Teasers
"Lightyear 2 will fast track our mission of delivering clean mobility to everyone, everywhere. This is the first EV that allows consumers to prioritize sustainability, without compromising on practicality. By harnessing the power of the sun, 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."
Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and Co-Founder of Lightyear
Lightyear does not say how it will be able to drive the price down by such a large amount compared to the Lightyear 0, but we assume it aims to pull that off through a combination of factors such as a much larger production run, less expensive manufacturing solutions, (possibly) smaller vehicle dimensions, and more. We've asked the company for details regarding that and we'll update this story when we get a reply.
The company does say the Lightyear 2 will make electric driving accessible and convenient "at a more affordable price point than other long-range electric vehicles." It describes the new model as "the vehicle set to democratize solar electric driving."
The startup estimates a real life driving range of over 500 miles (800 kilometers) on a full charge, with solar power said to "double" the range – although no specific details were offered.
the Lightyear 2 also said to require three times less charging than conventional EVs. Furthermore, Lightyear promises the lowest running costs of any comparable EV and 50 percent lower CO2 emissions over the vehicle's lifetime compared to a conventional EV.