The push toward sustainable electric vehicles has been in full swing, and up to this point, the most noteworthy platforms have been revealed by the industry’s biggest players. This week, however, a company by the name of Lightyear has announced that they’ll be joining the race for all-electric supremacy with their new solar vehicle, the Lightyear One.
The company, founded in 2016, is comprised of a virtuous team of engineering students — former members of the established Solar Team Eindhoven, who went on to secure a handful of victories in the 2013, 2015, and 2017 World Solar Challenge. In an effort to usurp the market-leading Tesla Model S, the company has built a solar-oriented platform that can travel up to 450 miles; 80 miles more than Tesla’s already-ambitious e-vehicle. It boasts a built-in battery, over five square meters of solar panels on its roof and hood (allotting an average charge of 12 km of range/hour), and a traditional “plug-in” port for 60kW (or 507 km of range) per hour of charge. While it’s not the most powerful variant on the market, Lightyear’s prodigious vehicle will utilize four different electric motors to accelerate from 0-62 miles-per-hour in just under ten seconds. The company is currently accepting preorders on the first 500 platforms, clocking in at around $135,000.