Clean and affordable mobility for everyone.
Electric cars have the potential to be a huge win-win scenario for everyone. Not only do they provide a way to reduce the emissions and thereby provide us with cleaner air in our cities, electric cars are an important part of the solution to mitigate climate change.
At Lightyear, we love electric cars. We started the company because we could not just be bystanders of the electric car revolution. We feel a very strong urge to accelerate the introduction of electric cars around the globe.
Deep understanding of the problem
We started by deepening our understanding of the obstacles slowing down the introduction of electric cars. This step was all about trying to figure out what parts of the introduction process could be improved. This resulted in the foundation of our mission: a very clearly defined goal that guides the company as it grows.
The founding goal: Providing clean and affordable mobility for everyone.
How? By fixing the problems that slow the introduction of sustainably charged and built electric cars, one by one.
These are the challenges that we identified as key to the mass-market introduction of electric cars:
- Providing enough range in order to make any trip convenient and planning-free.
- Making sure the electricity the cars use is coming from renewable sources.
- Preparing electric cars for tougher environments where road infrastructure is not always perfect
- Making sure the production of electric cars is as clean as possible
- Reducing the cost of owning, maintaining and using electric cars to make it viable for a worldwide mass market
The industry’s current approach
When considering an electric vehicle fleet charged with stationary solar cells, we realized that the problem is not necessarily the price or availability of solar cells, battery cells or electric motors. The most difficult part is making sure they work well together. It is very hard to rapidly deploy an extensive network of solar chargers, to make sure every car owner has a solar charging point accessible close to their home or work and along their route.
When looking carefully at the challenges stated before, it becomes clear that the first three challenges originate from the same problem: connecting renewable energy sources conveniently to the car. If done right, this will solve range anxiety and provide clean power wherever, all in one fell swoop.
Why we believe in integrating solar cells onto the car
The challenge described above is exactly the reason why we consider charging from solar cells placed directly on the roof of the car. The sun is everywhere, it is the largest supercharger out there, you do not need any extra infrastructure to use it and it is 100% free.
As a backup, we make sure that ordinary power sockets provide enough energy to charge the battery overnight.
That means that people can already start driving electric cars, anywhere in the world, without needing to wait for charging infrastructure to be built. That makes scaling solar electric cars much simpler. No need to wait for governments to authorize the deployment of charging points, solar panels and batteries. No need to wait for companies to find a viable business case to build a charging infrastructure in your area. No need be dependent on companies trying to defend their current fossil fueled business and thereby slowing down the introduction of electric cars.
First step: everywhere
Since it is both near impossible to build low-cost low volume cars and the technology is not yet ready for mass production, we focus on getting the technology ready by first serving an exclusive market. We constantly check our options to pick the best first market, the best product that will get us to our end goal fastest. The Lightyear One will focus on showing that electric cars can go anywhere.
Once we prove that we can build a reliable, safe and above all great solar electric car, we will be ready to tackle the next challenges: making sure the production of the car is clean and reducing costs by scaling up our efforts.
Charged by the sun. Drive for months without grid-charging. Unprecedented range.