Last year, we set a new standard for EV efficiency with our validation prototype by driving over 440 miles (710 kilometres) on a single battery charge. That was a critical moment, but the momentum is far from over.
Note that on 9 June 2022, our solar electric vehicle, Lightyear One, became Lightyear 0. Discover the rationale behind our car's final name and our revised company logo, here.
Creating the world’s first long-range solar electric vehicle means bringing together a lot of cutting-edge technologies. One important element is the tyre; not only is it an important element for safety and comfort, it is also one of the elements that gives the car the efficiency necessary to satisfy its long range.
When we headed to the Bridgestone testing ground in Italy, we knew that we wanted to see the concrete numbers of the Turanza Eco tyres – the tyres with Bridgestone’s ENLITEN technology, and how they performed on a unique car like Lightyear One.
In these tyres, the ENLITEN combines smoothly with the ologic technology, bringing forward a tyre that has a reduced aerodynamic drag, that also has a low rolling resistance. Being a lightweight and safe tyre made it even more suitable for what we want to achieve with our solar car.
We conducted our tests on three tyres from the ENLITEN and ologic family: on a reference tyre (to create a baseline), on a more comfort-oriented tyre, and on a handling-oriented tyre. Each set was subjectively tested for comfort, rolling noise, straight running and steering behaviour, lane change, and more, by a Bridgestone and a Lightyear driver.
When the tests were concluded, the tyre with a more handling and steering focus was selected by our engineers, as it offered more control and was overall stronger.
“When it comes to a good tyre, it’s all about balance. For our tyres, what we gain in handling and steering performance far outweighs what we would obtain from going with a more comfortable tyre.” — Koen Broeksteeg, Lead Engineer Vehicle Dynamics, Lightyear
After we concluded these tests at Bridgestone, we are now confident to proceed with industrialisation. That way, it will be ready in the mass production plant and can be fitted to our Lightyear Ones, which will hit the road in 2022.
Our collaboration with Bridgestone started during our World Solar Challenge years and has only grown in scope since then. What brings us together is our passion for sustainability and for efficiency. That is why we tested, besides the tyres, the aerodynamics of our car, as well as the efficiency of Lightyear One during high speeds.
About Lightyear’s technology
As our world moves to more sustainable energy sources, Lightyear is driving the development of clean mobility in the automotive industry. By enabling electric vehicles to be scalable for everyone, everywhere, we will accelerate the sustainability transition and have a positive impact.
Our technology is engineered to enable a clean future. Starting from scratch and using a holistic design approach we developed an ultra energy-efficient long-range solar car. Our technology redefines performance with what truly matters: efficiency.