While we eagerly wait for Lightyear One the solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) to go into production, its makers have already announced a more cost-friendly version model that will offer twice the range of similarly priced vehicles, InsideEVs reported.
Lightyear One is scheduled to go into production starting next year. In their trials, the company even managed to use the car in European summer without having to charge it at all. The car manages this with solar panels that are seamlessly present on its surface and with high-efficiency motors that use up to three times lesser power per kilometer than EVs in the market today, the company claims. Although those interested can reserve a Pioneer Edition of the Lightyear One for the price of €150,000 ($170,000), the maker's next model is something one can't refuse.
According to InsideEVs, the model is called Two, a bit of a vapid nomenclature from a company that calls itself Lightyear. However, it is the capabilities of the car that make it a prospective option for the buyer, and this is where Lightyear seems to have ticked all the boxes.
From the little we know so far, Two will offer twice the range of what similarly priced EVs in the market currently offer. And with its solar panels, it will require up to five times lesser charging as well. There is definitely an upgrade coming to the solar panel array on the Lightyear since Two will rely heavily on the panels to achieve this.
Another important prospect of the car is its price. At €30,000 ($34,000), it is a fraction of the cost of the Pioneer Edition. The cost reduction is definitely not just a matter of production scale but also an improvement on the battery pack. InsideEVs reports that the battery pack is going to be much smaller and since we already know that it offers a higher range, there is some nifty upgrade that Lightyear has managed in that area as well.
While we can't wait to know more about these upgrades, LeasePlan, a company offering Car-as-a-service, is already sold on this. Recently, it signed an agreement with Lightyear for 5,000 cars that are expected to go into production by 2024 or 2025. It has already snapped up Lightyear One for its European markets with an aim to make the first solar-powered car subscription.
Earlier this year, Lightyear announced that production of its One will be handled by Finland-based Valmet Automotive that has made more than 1.7 million vehicles for popular brands like Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and Saab.