In a world of Tesla-obsessed EV drivers, it becomes challenging to welcome another environmentally conscious automaker into the game without wondering how it could compare. With Polestar trying to gain a competitive edge in electric manufacturing and most automakers diving into the future of EV production, pretty soon the only option buyers will be looking for is electrically-charged vehicles. That’s where Lightyear One comes into play.
Next year, something completely different will ride into the EV market: the Lightyear One. The name alone makes you feel like Buzz Lightyear might be special delivering it to your driveway. This Netherlands-based company has officially introduced consumers to the most efficient, solar-powered vehicle in production — it’s hard not to be impressed.
Their first concept car, the Lightyear One, has integrated solar cells directly on the roof of this midsize sedan. Lightyear claims this EV will get up to 450 miles on a battery charge and an additional 7 miles or more from the integrated solar cells. Although it’s still technically considered an electric vehicle, the solar charge makes this model an impressive introduction of what’s to come for solar-powered manufacturing. Get a glimpse of its striking design and performance below:
As you can see, this is no ordinary electric vehicle. With enough solar energy absorption, the Lightyear One could practically become self-sufficient for most of the year, giving it an advantageous precedence over other EV’s. Currently, the Lightyear One is in the developmental process, on track to begin production in 2021. Recent sneak peeks into this concept car are getting EV enthusiasts excited for the future but even more impressed about how this car came to be.
Lightyear was formed by a group of engineering students from the University of Eindhoven. Having won the World Solar Challenge race with their inventive “Stella” solar car concept, this team of individuals channeled a passion for solar energy into a company that will likely change the game for electric manufacturing. Or at least bring an unique perspective to electric charging. Promoting a lightweight body, 4 in-wheel motors, and the most efficient automotive solar panels, the Lightyear One is here to make a statement and its obvious.
Solar-energy at cost
It should come as no surprise that the first Lightyear One will break the bank. By the time you pay for this new ride you could have bought a Tesla and solar panels for your house. Despite the cost, the appeal of driving months without charging will attract high-end EV owners. If they can afford it, I’m sure they will enjoy the novelty of owning it. Not yet available to the U.S. drivers, exclusive European buyers will get behind the wheel of this latest innovation by the end of 2021.
You can preorder one today with a down payment of 150,000 euros — making you an official investor in the first of 946 cars available. Whether you have the capability of being a pioneer of the Lightyear One or you simply just love the innovation behind this recent production, the Lightyear brand is one to watch. Very unattainable, yes, but nonetheless another innovator in the future of automotive manufacturing.
Take a ride (virtually)
For now, EV enthusiasts will have to get hyped through the various promotional videos released through social media. Once the LightYear One makes its official debut, I can’t imagine the show stopping looks this EV will get while on the road. It is truly unlike most vehicles on the market, but in a way, it carries most of the qualities that high-end luxury drivers are vying for.
While Tesla aims to offer more affordable EV options for consumers, the production of the Lightyear One and future solar-powered concept cars seem pretty far-fetched for the average buyer. But who knows, maybe thirty years from now solar-paneled EV’s will be just as common as the average car.