Lightyear will begin deliveries of its first ever model, the One, next year and even though it’s a fairly expensive EVs that’s sold by a very small company, it sounds like it’s pretty game-changing. Its biggest draw has to be the fact that with a relatively small battery pack, it has a WLTP range of 725 km (450 miles).
It achieves this impressive range from just 60 kWh because it also relies on the sun’s energy to produce its own electricity via a massive array that spans the entire top of the vehicle (except for the windscreen). In terms of looks, the closest has to be the Volkswagen XL1 and just like that economy-minded vehicle, the Lightyear One is not very quick, sprinting from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just under 10 seconds.
We are very excited to see this vehicle debut next year, especially since it will be built by a company with decades of car-building experience - Finland’s Valmet Automotive, which currently builds the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the GLC. And this same company will also manufacture Lightyear’s second model, predictably called the Two.
It is slated to reach the market in 2025 as a more affordable alternative to its bigger brother. The Lightyear One currently costs the equivalent of about €150,000 (about £128,000), but the two will only cost a fraction of that at €30,000 (around £25,500) and this drastic price reduction will be achieved through the use of a much smaller battery pack.
We are not told how small, but Lightyear does say the Two will still provide twice the range of a similarly priced BEV with no solar charging, and require five times less charging than one too. Just like the One, the Two will rely on a big solar panel array to provide its own power, but it will be more reliant on this solar power compared to next year’s model.