First Solar Powered Car Is Now In Production

The solar-powered car era now begins.


By: Alexander Zabavskiy, Journalist

Lightyear, a Dutch company that has spent the last six years developing technologies to create the first solar-powered electric car in history, has entered a crucial stage of its development. According to a press release from the company, the production of Lightyear 0’s initial model has begun. New obstacles are emerging as the world transitions to electric transportation. Unlike vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, which can refuel almost anywhere and instantly, electric vehicles need a specific charging infrastructure and some time to charge their batteries. Over the past few years, charging times have significantly decreased because of advancements in battery technology. Lex Hoefsloot, founder and CEO of Lightyear, believes that the quick switch to EVs will result in a substantial number of vehicles needing access to the infrastructure for charging, which won’t scale up in time for the increased demand. However, Lightyear vehicles driven by solar energy won’t be reliant on existing infrastructure.
Production Begins
For its production needs, Lightyear has partnered with Valmet Automotive, a company based in Finland. Producing EVs for more than ten years, Valmet has worked with well-known brands in the automotive sector like Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and Saab in the past. The factory will initially build one car a week, with plans to increase output by the first quarter of 2023. After attempting to create a solid supply chain with trustworthy partners, Lightyear now appears prepared not only to provide interested clients with solar-powered electric vehicles but also to bring the concepts for its future models to life. Recently, Lightyear revealed that the business is developing Lightyear 0’s successor, code-named Two, which is anticipated to require even less access to electric charging and will be more affordable for people wishing to purchase them. As stated in the news release, “Starting production of Lightyear 0, the first solar car, brings us a significant step closer to our vision of clean mobility for everyone, everywhere. Although we could be the first to accomplish this, I sincerely hope we are not the last.”
Now is the beginning of the solar-powered automobile age.