This $40K, 500-Mile Range Solar EV Is About To Shake Up The EV World
As new technology emerges, it takes a long time to mature into forms that make sense. Just look at smartphones. In their early years, designs varied massively and had a wide range of functions. But if you look at smartphones today, most have a similar look and incredibly similar features. Currently, the EV world is in its early years, and manufacturers are still figuring out what the ideal EV looks like. Does it prioritise fast charging? What about having a massive range? Or do buyers maybe care more about an EV’s level of ecofriendliness? Well, Lightyear thinks the radically different design of their upcoming Lightyear 2 could be the answer to all of these questions. So is this the future of EVs? Or is Lightyear barking up the wrong tree?
You may already know about Lightyear. In November of last year, they released their first EV, the Lightyear 0. This hyper-efficient car sips power at a rate of 7.35 miles per kWh. Compare that to a Tesla Model S at 4 miles per kWh. With its relatively small 60 kWh battery, the Lightyear 0 could go 441 miles on a single charge. But you wouldn’t need to charge it all that frequently because the Lightyear 0 can run on solar power with integrated solar panels in the hood, roof, and rear deck lid. These could add 40 miles of range to the battery every day!
Unfortunately, the Lightyear 0 wasn’t designed to be a mass-production car, with only 946 examples being built. This low production volume, combined with the bespoke parts needed to create such a vehicle, pushed the price to an eye-watering $250,000! So while this car was technically remarkable, it wasn’t set to make a significant cultural impact. (Read more about the Lightyear 0 here.)
But this is where the Lightyear 2 comes in!
Slated for a 2025 launch at a target cost of €40,000 ($43,000 equivalent), this five-seat large sedan is hyper-efficient and has integrated solar panels with a massive claimed range of 497 miles! As a bonus, it also receives 43 miles of free solar charge per day. Just to remind you, the far smaller and non-solar Tesla Model 3 SR+ has a 263-mile range (EPA) and costs $48,000. What’s more, Lightyear will mass produce the 2 with a target of…