"I call it the global dream, to make solar electric cars accessible to everyone. Everyone will experience this feeling of freedom — driving wherever you want with the sun as your energy source. And that's just fantastic." — Johan Kamphuis, early Lightyear customer and investor
Six years ago, we put a bright idea in motion: to build the world’s first solar electric car.
Creating an ultra-efficient, production-ready solar electric car had never been done, until June 9 2022, when we unveiled Lightyear 0.
Weeks later, we held Destination Daylight: our debut driving event. Here, Lightyear 0 met the hands of its first drivers in sun-drenched Navarra, Spain. First customers and investors were able to experience the car many had been dreaming of since its idea was first conceived.
Amongst them was early Lightyear customer, Anne-Marie Rakhorst. Like everyone to experience the car at the event, she was amazed by its feeling of freedom: “With this car, it feels like sailing. You have a sense of complete weightlessness. It's effortless.”
With the help of our visionary community, it’s Lightyear’s mission to ensure everyone, everywhere can access this way of driving — a feeling of freedom — for a better planet, and a brighter future.
Blue sky thinking — The world’s first solar car
Most of the time, a revolutionary approach starts with a blank slate, kindred spirits and shared viewpoints. To bring our technology to the world, we had to think differently. We relied heavily on the right support, inviting like-minded investors and partners to join us and trailblaze a new, unconventional way of mobility. That meant taking a leap of faith.
Early Lightyear customer, Cas van Arendonk, knows what it’s like to forge transformative companies: “Within our multiple companies we have created an ecosystem called PoweredByMeaning. Everything we do is in the spirit of meaning — for the planet and its people.”
“It’s in that aspect that Lightyear appealed to me, as it’s a system-change: to no longer need fossil fuel and be able to drive on clean sunlight. I was immediately inspired to be a part of that. It was a no-brainer for me, I thought: we must help.”
“And for as long as I can drive a car, I want to be driving my Lightyear 0. Because, there will be new models, mass-market variations, and competitors. Everything will become available. But that first unique car that triggered all of it — Lightyear 0 — well, I want to drive that right until the end.”
Destination Daylight — The first Lightyear driving experience
And Lightyear 0 is unique, from top to bottom. Five square metres of integrated solar cells give the car potential to cover the average work commute. It’s the most aerodynamic five-seater on the market, lightweight and designed to deliver more range with less battery.
There’s no wonder then, that against a breathtaking backdrop of sun-baked mountains, valleys and plains, there were surprises in store for its first drivers. And none more than the feeling of free-soaring.
With regenerative braking deactivated and the foot removed from the accelerator, drivers experienced something truly special: the sensation of unparalleled efficiency. Low energy consumption, aerodynamics and a lightweight form kept the car gliding effortlessly, losing only a kilometre at a time.
Seated in the car’s ecosystem of carefully-considered detail, drivers felt nothing holding them back.
Change on the horizon — Everyone, a Lightyear
Lightyear cars make the impossibly vast, accessible. The unimaginably wild, explorable. Without tailpipe emissions or relying on any charging infrastructure, imagine driving along windswept highlands or mirage-like coastline. Your car, powered by the same solar energy that nourishes the landscapes around it.
This captured the imagination of early investor and customer, Johan Kamphuis: “Being able to drive freely, without the power grid, makes the world so much better, if you think about it. Now that it’s proven, we need to make it affordable and available in all countries. Then we will have a big solution. I call it the global dream, to make solar electric cars accessible to all. Everyone will experience this feeling of freedom — driving wherever you want to with the sun as your energy source. That's just fantastic.”
Perched against Lightyear 0 and caught in the melting light of the Spanish sunset, early investor Richard Bross added:
“We will do everything we can to make that dream come true. In 10 years everyone will drive a Lightyear, how beautiful is that? Everyone, a Lightyear…”
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