July 8, 2021

Lightyear’s solar car prototype drives over 440 miles on a single battery charge

Lightyear’s solar car prototype drives over 440 miles on a single battery charge

  • Lightyear One is the world’s first long-range solar electric vehicle
  • Lightyear One’s prototype car drove over 440 miles on a single battery charge of 60 kWh
  • Lightyear achieves an important technology milestone by demonstrating long-range performance at test track

Helmond, The Netherlands, July 8, 2021 - Lightyear, the solar electric vehicle pioneer, has achieved a major technology performance milestone by driving 441 miles (710 km) of range with its Lightyear One prototype car. Never before has an electric vehicle driven such a long-range on a relatively small battery. 

“After four years of hard work and in-house development, this is a very important engineering and technological milestone. It validates the performance of our patented technology and truly shows that we are able to deliver on our promise to introduce the most efficient electric vehicle. This prototype has over 440 miles of range with an energy consumption of only 137 Wh/Mile at 53 miles an hour. Even the most efficient electric cars in the market today consume around 50% more energy at this relatively low speed”, says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear. “This milestone is a great confirmation of the scalability of our business model. We are confident that in the coming months, we will be able to reach a similar level of energy consumption at highway speed. Lowering the energy consumption per mile of an EV means that you can provide a lot of range on a small battery. Because batteries are the most expensive part of an EV, you can lower the purchase price of the car and achieve affordable electric cars with a lot of range that don’t need a lot of charging. Low-energy consuming cars can also benefit a lot more from adding solar cells to the car and gain about 45 miles of charge on a sunny day.”

The prototype car was put to the test at the Aldenhoven Testing Center in Germany, to complete a drive cycle at a speed of 53 miles per hour on a single battery charge of 60 kWh. The integral test ranged from validating the yield of the solar panels, the battery performance, the energy consumption of the cooling system, all the way to the functioning of the in-wheel motors and the software operating the solar car. 

The conducted full drive cycle test is a crucial step to verify and validate all the assumptions of the vehicle’s performance. Beyond the validation of the technical performance of the car, other upcoming tests are related to the homologation process such as the crash tests and an official WLTP drive cycle test. 

Lightyear is on a mission to make clean mobility available to everyone, everywhere and is gearing up for the industrialisation and manufacturing of Lightyear One. The concept of a long-range solar car represents a huge opportunity to change mobility, so you can drive for months without charging. An exclusive series of 946 Lightyear One’s will go into production in the first half of 2022. Lightyear wants to address the mass market starting from 2024.

Related imagery

Lightyear One Validation Prototype 004

For non-commercial use only.

Lightyear One Validation Prototype 003

For non-commercial use only.

Lightyear One Validation Prototype 005

For non-commercial use only.

Lightyear One Validation Prototype 001

For non-commercial use only.

Lightyear One Validation Prototype 002

For non-commercial use only.
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About Lightyear

Lightyear is on a mission to make clean mobility available to everyone, everywhere. Lightyear aims to eliminate the two biggest concerns for electric cars - charging and range - with an energy-efficient design and integrated solar cells. This allows motorists, depending on the climate, to drive up to twenty thousand kilometers per year on the power of the sun. The fast-growing company was founded in 2016 and currently employs more than two hundred employees. The team is made up of a mix of young talent and experienced names from the automotive industry, including former employees of Tesla, Jaguar, Landrover, Audi, McLaren, and Ferrari. In 2019, Lightyear received the Horizon 2020 grant from the European Commission, under grant agreement number 848620. In the summer of 2019, Lightyear launched its first driving prototype, Lightyear One, and opened a new office in the region of Brainport Eindhoven. The prestigious TIME Magazine acknowledged Lightyear One as one of the ‘100 best inventions’ of 2019. In 2020, Lightyear won the ‘Rising Star’ and ‘Most Disruptive Innovator’ Award of the Technology Fast 50 program organized by Deloitte. The first model of Lightyear One will go into production in the summer of 2022 as an exclusive car series.

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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