On 9 June, Lightyear 0 was unveiled in an online global premiere where Lightyear showcased their final design and the car's unique specifications and capabilities. The core technologies that make Lightyear 0 unique were outlined along with the company's mission and strategy.
Why Lightyear 0? The automotive industry needs to change its course. According to Lightyear, every year all cars drive 9,460,000,000,000 fossil-fuelled kilometres, which equals light-year. Lighter's aim is to have the world drive one light-year on solar power by 2035.
Lex Hoefsloot, Co-founder and CEO, explains: "Electric cars are a step in the right direction, but they have a scaling problem. By 2030, we can expect 84 million electric vehicles (EVs) on roads in Europe alone. There's no hiding from it, access to charging stations will not keep up with the demand for electric cars. To minimise plug-charging and maximise range, the industry's strategy, so far, has been to add batteries. That increases the carbon footprint of production and, in turn, boosts weight and the need for high-power charging stations. Our strategy flips that approach. Lightyear 0 delivers more range with less battery, reducing weight and CO₂ emissions per vehicle." For further information see the IDTechEx report on Advanced Electric Cars 2020-2040.
According to Lightyear the optimised solar roof and holistic design mean that the car can drive for weeks, even months, without charging. In cloudy climates, based on the average commute of around 35 kilometres per day, the car can drive for up to two months before needing to be charged. In sunnier countries, that could be up to seven months. Plugged into a regular home socket, Lightyear 0 can still charge 32 kilometres of range per hour.
The sustainable interior of the vehicle is vegan and eco-friendly, featuring plant-based leather, fabrics made from recycled PET bottles and wooden deco elements from sustainably-restructured rattan palm. Lightyear 0's outer body panels are also made from reclaimed carbon; residual carbon fibre materials that would otherwise go to waste.
In June the first test drives will be offered. In fall Lightyear will start-up production, with the first cars reaching their drivers in November.
Source and top image: Lightyear