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Our take — How clean mobility can transform the future

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Join us as we dive into our mission and its origins. In this blog, we explain how we believe clean mobility will positively shape the future of our planet, and all to inhabit it.

Mobility is a fundamental societal need. But it requires balance — just like our earth, with its careful iterations and delicate ecosystems. It’s balance that drives and shapes our mission.

In the last blog in our mobility series, we untangled the word’s true meaning, examining the difference between transport and mobility. And, critically, how it relates to that all-important term: clean mobility.

Our mission — Clean mobility matters

Clean mobility sets a benchmark for the automotive industry, and it shapes our every decision; from the solar panels we produce to the sustainable materials we select.

To protect our environment and meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, clean mobility is imperative. The challenge comes in protecting peoples’ access to mobility and our planet’s ecosystem; a juggling act that can’t be realised with fossil-fuelled vehicles.

Solar Electric Vehicles (SEVs), on the other hand, play a pivotal role in cleaning up the automotive industry. It’s this technology that Lightyear began to pioneer many years ago, and plenty have called us dreamers along the way. But today, it’s a trailblazing reality, born from human endeavor in the searing Australian outback.

Our origins — A start at the finish line

In childhood, Lightyear co-founder and CEO, Lex Hoefsloot read an article about climate change. The simple realisation that people, and our choices, were directly impacting the planet made an irreversible impression on his mind.

Fast forward to 2012, and Lex, within a university team of four other bright minds, was building the world’s first four-seat solar car. The car that went on to win the 3,000-kilometre World Solar Challenge in Australia.

Over the six-day event, the team noticed that the supporting combustion vehicles would have to stop to refuel, but the solar cars never did. After winning the challenge for a fourth year in a row, an idea collected momentum. Eventually, it would take the form of Lightyear.

If they could make this technology work in the remote wilderness of the outback, then surely it could work elsewhere? Everywhere. It was this simple notion that would forge a six-year journey of innovation, launch Lightyear 0, and bring landmark proof of transformative mobility to the world.

Our future — Clean, convenient and boundless

With climate change accelerating, we need to rely less on the earth’s resources. EVs are part of the solution, but the existing power grid is just too stretched to support their snowballing demand. And the global transition to renewably-powered grids is far too laboured to deliver the change our planet needs now.

With a growing number of cars on the roads, we have to ask: what does the future hold for mobility? With solar electric cars in the frame, we say it holds boundless potential.

By harnessing our most plentiful natural energy source, these cars can relieve electrical infrastructure, reduce emissions and restore balance. Lightyear cars minimise ecological impact and deliver the freedom to move anywhere, with the sun as your source.

We see a freer future of mobility and access to it. The change we’re driving requires a fresh mindset: less ownership, greater accessibility.

That means more car-sharing options, better ride-hailing services and greater leasing alternatives. We’ve already begun, by partnering with the likes of MyWheels and LeasePlan to drive a future we can all get excited about sharing.

Next up — Scaling solar electric cars

At Lightyear, we’re constantly innovating. We’ve launched the world’s first production-ready solar car, but that’s only the beginning.

Lightyear 0 is a blazing step in delivering our mission; it lays the foundations for our next, affordable model, Lightyear 2. In our next mobility blog, we’ll explain our pricing and expansion strategy as we accelerate towards a light-year driven in clean, solar kilometres.

The adventure is just getting started.

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About Lightyear

We design for independence and convenience. We create clean solar electric cars that can drive off-grid and into all of life's adventures.

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 848620