The Lightyear 0 is the manufacturing successor to the Lightyear 1 prototype that raised the opportunity of an electrical automobile powered by daylight. (Sono Motors is likely to be watching this story intently.) In an announcement this week, the corporate says it has formally begun manufacturing of its first automobile, the Lightyear 0, on the Valmet Automotive facility in Finland.
Just one automobile per week will likely be constructed initially as the corporate plans to steadily scale up manufacturing within the first quarter of 2023. Lightyear claims it’s the first automotive firm to fabricate an electrical automobile that generates energy immediately from daylight. After six years of creating its personal applied sciences, it says it has surpassed one of the vital difficult phases for brand spanking new automotive firms — getting into the market with novel expertise.
“We’ve hit many milestones in recent times, from main funding achievements to nice partnerships. Nonetheless, as we speak is essentially the most important, and doubtless essentially the most difficult, milestone we’ve reached to date,” says Lightyear CEO Lex Hoefsloot. “Beginning manufacturing of Lightyear 0, the primary photo voltaic automobile, brings us an enormous step nearer to our mission of unpolluted mobility for everybody, in all places. We stands out as the first to realize this, however I definitely hope we aren’t the final.”
The Lightyear 0 is among the most effective automobiles to ever start manufacturing. In accordance with Autoweek, it has an ultra-low drag coefficient of 0.175. “4 traction inverters and direct drive-in-wheel motors get rid of the necessity for vitality draining elements akin to a gearbox and driveshafts. Our drivetrain shouldn’t be solely in pole place for the very best effectivity available on the market, it additionally reduces the variety of rotating elements for a lot decrease upkeep,” the corporate says. “In simply six years, we’ve gone from an concept to a particular proof of idea. Inside weeks, the primary photo voltaic automobiles will likely be driving on European roads to provide the world its first glimpse of unpolluted mobility.”
Whole energy of the 4 motors is 170 hp (127 kW). That’s modest in comparison with many EVs out there as we speak, however with the low drag and low weight of the automobile, sufficient for the wants of most drivers. This isn’t meant to be a sports activities automobile. It’s meant to reveal how folks can drive from place to put with the bottom carbon emissions doable.
The Lightyear 0 makes use of a 60 kWh battery that weighs a mere 771 kilos. It has one of many highest vitality densities of any manufacturing automobile, the corporate says, and may energy the automobile for a complete of 388 miles within the WLTP check cycle. Freeway vary is alleged to be 344 miles.
Relying on the quantity of solar out there through the 12 months, Lightyear says homeowners can count on to get between 6,000 and 11,000 kilometers (3,728 to six,835 miles) of vary from the solar alone annually. The hood, roof, and hatch are coated in 782 IBC monocrystalline silicon photo voltaic cells with a peak photo voltaic output of 1.05 kW.
Six years after its founding, the corporate now has over 500 staff and a longtime provide chain that features companions akin to Valmet Automotive, Bridgestone, and Koenigsegg. Valmet is a benchmark-setting electrical automobile producer with greater than 10 years of expertise in EV manufacturing and over 50 years of expertise producing vehicles for well-known carmakers.
“We share Lightyear’s motivation for creating new, extra sustainable mobility options and are excited to be a part of this revolutionary improvement within the automotive business. Throughout the previous few years, we’ve been working intently collectively to know Lightyear 0’s applied sciences and put together the whole lot for easy manufacturing of the photo voltaic electrical automobiles for shoppers,” says Olaf Bongwald, CEO of Valmet Automotive.
The corporate plans to construct solely 150 Lightyear 0 sedans, which will likely be priced at $260,000 every — a hefty sum certainly. However it already has a inexpensive automobile on the drawing boards, the Lightyear 2, which may have a smaller battery and fewer vary for the very interesting value of simply €30,000. That automobile is projected to go on sale in late 2024 or early 2025.
When it arrives, the value of the Lightyear 2 could also be greater, particularly if Vladimir Putin decides to invade different former Soviet nations between at times. Would you be eager about a reasonable automobile that fees itself principally by sitting within the solar and absorbing rays? We predict numerous folks would say sure to that proposition.
Featured picture courtesy of Lightyear.
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