- L.Hoffslot, 30, is a co-founder and CEO of Lightyear, a company that wants to sell Sun Evan.
- The inspiration for the production car came from participating in the college’s solar EV project.
- Lightyear has a $ 175,000 model in its works and plans for a lower-end version.
These days everyone seems to be talking about electric vehicles. Feel better about your wallet and your contribution to the environment.
But In 2016, engineering student Lex Hofflott decided that we should not stop at the old EVs and became the CEO of Lightyear Motors, a Dutch-based EV company with the intention of delivering the first high-performance solar car.
The purpose of Lightyear is to allow drivers to be power independent without having to rely on a power grid. At Lightyear, the upcoming vehicle, One, Hoefsloot, says drivers can go for months without charge.
Incorporating solar technology into cars is not a new concept. Manufacturers have been debating the idea since the 1950s, and in the early 2000s they experimented with solar technology to light up a variety of spare parts in luxury and hybrid vehicles. Take a 2006 Maybach 62 S luxury sedan with solar roof that can power the ventilation system while the car is parked.
While it is not possible to generate solar energy for a production vehicle, non-road project vehicles were unique.
Hoffleslot studied at Eindhoven University of Technology and was fascinated by solar technology and electric vehicles. Hofflott was the College’s solar vehicle team coordinator and team manager. The team has developed some of the most efficient solar cars to compete in and win races around the world.
Hoffstlot said that managing a college team helped him become a better leader because, in contrast to managing the company, the participants were volunteers. But the idea came to the company – with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, HoffSlot and many others had a vision to incorporate solar technology into a production vehicle.
The first vehicle to be released by the brand is called the “One” – $ 175,000 solar-electric sedan. It’s not a cheap car, but it does pave the way for more affordable vehicles.
Like other EVs trying to separate in a crowded place.
“Aerodynamics must be extreme,” says Hoffslott. The weight of the car should be very low, and all of these design restrictions make it very difficult to manage.
Hofflot told Insider that Lightyear expects a significant increase in the number of integrated solar panels – “45 miles from the sun on a good day.” The Hyundai Sonata hybrid is about two miles a day.
“On the one hand, that gives you a lot of freedom, because you don’t have to think about the way the chargers go side by side,” says Hofflott. Just plan it and go.
Lightyear One 20-year-old Valmet Automotive, Lightyear’s partner, is scheduled to deliver in the summer of 2022. The Finnish manufacturer has built everything from Porsche to Saabs, and HoffSlot thinks that Valmett’s manufacturing development will complement its growing brand.
After the Lightyear One race, the wholesale market model will follow. Unlike the other, the wholesale market model starts at a very affordable price, and will be available in the United States, which Hoffstlot sees as a ‘logical place for solar cars’.
“So much of the work we put in for Lightyear One is giving this very unique and one-of-a-kind car to people who want to drive,” Hofflot said. On the other hand, we must prove to the rest of the world that this is here today.