Power to free communication

Celeste Vervoort — Copywriter

One of our very first buyers, Mark Vletter, decided to chase a dream when he saw the worldwide access problem of information and communication. Armed with a strong drive to change the status quo, he started the 48percent foundation with a mission to connect the whole world through free communication. Lightyear and the 48percent foundation share a purpose-driven mentality. Moreover, Mark got inspired by the way the Lightyear One generates electricity. In an article he wrote earlier this year, Mark explains the importance of generating energy in order to achieve free communication. Read his blog here.

At Lightyear we are on a mission not just to bring the world stunning solar cars, but to help create a sustainable electric future for everyone.

We are building world’s very first consumer solar car. This blog is about one of the first buyers of this magnificent machine; one of our Pioneers. The Pioneers rushed into this great adventure with us. Our Pioneers are on a mission of their own, and I am pleased to introduce you to one of them.

‘you could feel it: if this succeeds, it will be a revolution’

We are excited to have sold one of the very first Lightyear Ones to the 48percent foundation. The 48percent foundation is committed to freedom of communication for everyone. They believe everyone should be able to communicate freely and everyone should have access to the Internet. As they put it:

“The Internet has radically transformed our modern society. It has democratized information and communication, helping to bring equality to those who previously didn’t have it. However, 48% of the world does not have access to the Internet. More than 20% of those who do have access are actively censored. 1 out of every 5 inhabitants of our planet live without electricity.”

Mark Vletter at the Lightyear ambassador dinner.

And there it is. One of the biggest bottlenecks to freedom of communication is electricity. 15% of the world population has no access to electricity at all and for many more electricity is scarce. Generating electricity, however, is not the hard part of this problem. The hard part is distribution. To enable stable communication power needs to be distributed by a strong network. This network needs to be able to deliver when demand peaks. In most places in the world, the grid is not yet ready for the energy transition.

This is where our tech comes in. The Lightyear One cannot just drive where there is no grid- it can replace the grid as well. If you are the 48percent foundation you can look at it as a moving power generator. Or, better still, the Lightyear cars can be the beginning of a new distributed network, a grid 2.0. After all, the generated energy is stored in powerful batteries, ready when you are, wherever you are.

Mark Vletter: “When Elon Musk announced his game plan in 2006, you could feel it: if this succeeds, it will be a revolution. When the Tesla Model S finally went on sale in 2013, Voys was one of the first to help this newborn revolution. That same year, it was already said the Model S would only be the first step. The Stella had just won the World Solar Challenge. “This will be our next purchase”, we joked in the corridors. That this would eventually become the truth we had not expected, but now with the Lightyear One this has become reality.”

This time there is more to the purchase than merely participating in a market revolution. In remote areas, the best option is locally produced electricity. The Lightyear One uses the latest battery and solar technology. The 48percent foundation, therefore, does not just buy a car that helps support their story, the car also contains the essentials to realizing the goal of 48percent.org.

All the while, in their words: “Making it possible for a Dutch start-up to radically improve the car and transport industry.”

Want to read more? www.48percent.org

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