We’ve hit the luminous landmark of production. To mark the shift it brings to the automotive world, a pioneering collection of investors, partners, customers and press recently came together to see it first-hand in Finland. Read on to discover the moment Lightyear 0 made its first moves through specialised assembly lines.
We've seen Lightyear 0 light up the stage of its global premiere, glide along Spanish vistas, triumph on test tracks and excel in wind tunnels. It’s inspired curious crowds and turned heads on public roads. Now, under the gaze of its first visionary drivers, it has rolled through specialised production lines.
It took years of technological innovation and human endeavour to bring us here. Few make it this far, and we owe our progress to a community of investors and ambassadors — the driving force behind Lightyear.
Joining some of them recently at our start of production event, we shared the moment that Lightyear 0 graduated from aspiration to revolutionary action.
An electric event — Start of production
“Lightyear wins race to market with start of solar EV production”
At Valmet Automotive’s state-of-the-art facilities in Uusikaupunki, Finland, the wheels of change are turning. The first batch of Lightyear 0s are rolling through assembly lines in preparation for their time in the sun.
On 30 November, we took the chance to gather there with partners, investors, customers and press. As well as marking a monumental moment for solar electric mobility, the event also gave an insight into Lightyear 0’s specialised manufacture with facility tours.
Peering into unique processes of production, investors and first customers, Johan and Marleen, explained what the occasion meant to them: “We feel excited and proud to be here today. Lightyear 0 is a small but important step towards a cleaner and better world. It's special to be able to contribute to that, for our grandchildren and generations to come.”
Building Lightyear 0 — “The impossible car”
Until now, building a production-ready solar electric car had never been done. Many called us dreamers along the way, and not without reason. Because, to create Lightyear 0, we had to redefine possible.
Engineering it meant being vulnerable and unafraid of failure, and there were many. But each knock, scrape and setback led us not only to defy the odds of making it to manufacture, but to a car that sets new industry standards.
Lightyear 0 is the most aerodynamic car in the world, with a breakthrough drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.175. Every detail has been carefully considered to minimise energy consumption and maximise solar yield. Such as its lightweight battery pack with a high energy density, 5 m2 double curved solar arrays and a powertrain that achieves an efficiency of 97%, losing just a fraction of energy through heat.
Impact starts now — A worldwide mission
Weaving these technologies into a well-balanced, aesthetic design was an enormous challenge. But, to clean up mobility and scale electric driving, it’s exactly what the market calls for.
With the ability to harness up to 70 km of free, clean range per day from the sun alone, Lightyear 0 reduces pressure on the power grid and reliance on plugs and sockets.
Addressing visitors at Valmet Automotive facilities, Lightyear CEO and Co-Founder, Lex Hoefsloot, said: “By the year 2040, it’s expected that there will be 2 billion cars on the planet. And having just one combustion engine car left on the road is one too many.
“But the moment the first Lightyear 0 rolls off the assembly line, and every one after that, we are one less car reliant on fossil fuels. One less car bound to the electricity grid. Impact starts now.”
“This start of production moment is both a beginning and an end: the end of the chapter we started back in 2016, and it’s the beginning of true solar mobility.”
“It’s an achievement in the automotive industry like never before. And while we may be the first, my sincere hope — and belief — is that we won’t be the last.”