Light year: The solar car wants to make its detractors lie

Lightyear claims to revolutionize the electric car market. However, he still has everything to prove. Starting with its ability to deliver the first of the 950 planned copies of your (partially) solar-powered car, called the Lightyear One. In addition, the long-tail (5.06-meter-long) tailgate sedan on display in Paris this May was still just one of sixteen hand-mounted prototypes. Its shape differs subtly from that of the final model to be unveiled on June 9th. Official sale price: no more and no less than 250,000 euros, or one hundred thousand euros more than the “preferential rate” granted to the first one hundred and fifty visionary customers “who were the first to believe in the solar car.” A ball. Blame it on the inflation and scarcity that delayed the launch for almost two years.

The Lightyear solar car is not self-sufficient in energy: it must be connected to a terminal

This strictly prohibitive price puts “the first long-distance solar car” out of the reach of Mr. Everyman. However, Lex Hoefsloot denies “targeting the elite of the luxury car.” Confident, the CEO and co-founder of Lightyear confirms the goal: “the launch in 2024 of our second model Lighyear Two, sold about 30,000 euros.” What “we offer our customers the equivalent of 600 kilometers of less electric range than Tesla or BMW charge.” A promise that leaves some skeptical observers.

Read on tooPlot to extend the autonomy of the electric car

It prevents. A few large banks (Lightyear prefers to keep their names quiet) have joined the crowd of small early angel investors who have already raised 150 million euros since 2016. The industrial project gained more credibility last April , when the managers of the Dutch car-sharing operator MyWheels decided to place an order for 5,000 units of Lightyear Two. These sedans, which no one has seen yet, will arrive in 2025 to complete MyWheels’ fleet of self-service vehicles. In the hope that the solar charge will significantly reduce the energy and operating costs of the operator, while “making life easier for the user.”

Because it is charged with light, the Lightyear’s battery spends less time connected to the mains

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