Koenigsegg-Backed Lightyear Ditches Halo Model To Build $40k Solar EV

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But can a solar-powered car ever be practical enough for mainstream use?

Lightyear, the Dutch company behind an ingenious solar-powered EV called the 0, announced that it has decided to suspend production of the 0. Instead, all of its focus will now move over to the Lightyear 2, which is claimed to be an affordable solar electric vehicle that will appeal to a broader audience.

The Lightyear 0 made its debut in June 2019, and the manufacturer made several impressive promises. The car had a claimed WLTP-rated range of 450 miles, a drag coefficient of Cd=0.20, and enough exterior solar panels to capture between 31 to 43 miles of range per day. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a similar system, but its solar sunroof can only capture enough energy to power the car for three to five miles.

The first 500 units were meant to go on sale in 2021, but then the year we do not speak of happened. Lightyear managed to survive the pandemic, but it has had to adapt its business model by dropping the 0 and moving directly to the 2.


"Unfortunately, we had to make this decision. The whole process of developing Lightyear 0 has provided our company many valuable learnings over the past years. We are now redirecting all our energy towards building Lightyear 2 in order to make it available to clients on schedule," said CEO and Co-Founder Lex Hoefsloot.

The first images of the Lightyear 2 were made public earlier this year, and it appears to be an evolution of the 0. We're not interested in the design, however. When it was first unveiled, the Lightyear 0 was expected to cost $265,000. The target starting price of the 2 is roughly $40,000. Not to mention the claimed range of 500 miles.

Lightyear did not mention a release date for the 2, but will likely release more information after implementing a series of inevitable structure changes following this latest news.


Lightyear also claims the 2 needs three times fewer charges than a conventional EV because it claims so much range from the sun. Like the Aptera EV, the range it claims from the sun is more than enough to cover the average daily commute in America.

Startups like these fail all too often, but once you dig deeper into Lightyear's background, you realize how serious the company is. Koenigsegg is a primary investor, and that's basically all you need to know. Christian von Koenigsegg is one of the most brilliant automotive engineers on the planet and constantly pushes boundaries. If he's convinced, we should take note.

"Recently, we launched a waitlist for Lightyear 2, resulting in more than 40,000 subscriptions of individual customers, and we already had approximately 20,000 pre-orders from fleet owners," said Hoefsloot. "We hope to conclude some key investments in the coming weeks in order to scale up to Lightyear 2, an affordable solar electric vehicle available for a wider audience."


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